Mumbai: Hiren Bhagat Alias Romi Bhagat Sent To Police Custody In 2nd Extortion Case

Mumbai: Hiren Bhagat Alias Romi Bhagat Sent To Police Custody In 2nd Extortion Case

Acting on a complaint by a former managing director of Taj Hotels Group, the Crime Branch took his custody on Thursday as he was under judicial custody in the multi-crore extortion case.

Megha KuchikUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 10:29 PM IST
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Romi Bhagat |

Mumbai, February 17: The chief metropolitan magistrate, Esplanade court, on Friday remanded Hiren alias Romi Bhagat, 50, into police custody until February 21 in a Rs10 crore extortion case. He has already made headlines for his alleged involvement in the Rs164 crore extortion bid. After the recovery of sophisticated weapons and crucial documents related to cases being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, accusations regarding his nexus with political forces and some law officials are flying thick and fast.

Acting on a complaint by a former managing director of Taj Hotels Group, the Crime Branch took his custody on Thursday as he was under judicial custody in the multi-crore extortion case. In the fresh case, the 92-year-old complainant said that his son, an owner of a travel company, is currently in jail in a money laundering case that is being probed by national and state agencies. He further said that was introduced to Bhagat by an eyewitness in his son's case.

Accused Pretended To Be NIA Officer:

Impersonating an officer of the National Investigation Agency, the accused sought money on the pretext of helping to get the complainant's son out of jail. From 2020 until recently, Bhagat took Rs9.75 crore in cash and a luxurious watch worth lakh of rupees, said the nonagenarian, adding that he later threatened him with a gun, saying that he will harm his son in jail.

Based on the complaint, a case was registered against him under the Indian Penal Code sections 170 (impersonating a public servant), 386 (extortion by instilling fear of death), and 506(2) (criminal intimidation) at the Bandra police station. It was later transferred to the Crime Branch. Seeking remand, the Crime Branch said that several angles like why Bhagat impersonated a law officer, from where he procured the pistol, how he spent Rs9.75 crores and whether he has any accomplices needs to be investigated.

Who Is Romi Bhagat?

Bhagat, a known face in the political, real estate and administration circles, previously worked as a liaison agent residing in the Shimera apartment, 16th Road Khar West. Sources say that he posed as an ED official to extort businessmen and builders. Apart from the two extortion cases, he has been named in four offences registered by the Mumbai police. The Crime Branch arrested Bhagat on January 31 at Mumbai airport upon his arrival from Delhi in connection with the Rs164 crore extortion case. Impersonating a senior ED official, he demanded the whopping amount to settle a dispute between two builders.

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