The Anti Extortion Cell (AEC) of Mumbai crime branch arrested a Rajasthan man for allegedly kidnapping a businessman and extorting Rs 18 lakh by posing as an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The accused, Shyam Sundar Sharma, 38, lured the businessman into a trap by assuring him to settle his matter with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
"During the course of the investigation, we traced the accused to Gujarat. However, by the time our team reached the place, he was alerted and escaped. Our team followed him from Baroda for approximately 1,000 kilometres and, finally, nabbed him in Hubli, Karnataka," said Ajay Sawant, senior inspector of AEC.
The accused used to extort money from businessmen by posing as an IPS officer and the money would be spent on his lavish lifestyle, said the police.
According to the police, the complainant is a garment export businessman from Surat. He used to visit Mumbai with regards to a complaint registered against him in the DRI. A person with whom the businessman has a monetary dispute tipped Sharma about the businessman's ongoing matter. Following this, a plot was hatched to dupe him, said the police.
According to the police, Sharma, posing as an IPS officer, approached the businessman and, on the pretext of settling his ongoing matter with DRI, lured him into a trap. On September 28, when the two met at a renowned hotel in Churchgate, Sharma allegedly demanded Rs 25 lakh, which led to a heated argument between businessman and Sharma's associates.
The victim was allegedly abused and locked into a hotel room. The accused then allegedly kidnapped him at gunpoint and drove him to Gujarat, where the ransom was collected from him, which included Rs 16 lakh in cash, his two iPhones and two watches.
The businessman then approached Gujarat police, which informed their counterparts in Mumbai. An offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) personating a public servant (170), criminal conspiracy (120-B), kidnapping for ransom (364-A), extortion (386), assault (324), wrongful confinement (342) along with the sections of the Arms Act was registered with the Marine Drive Police Station and its investigation was transferred to AEC.
Sharma was previously arrested in similar offences. He used to carry a senior IPS officer's uniform to convince his victims. All the money would be spent on his lavish lifestyle, said the police. Police are now looking for his associates.