Mumbai: Police Arrest 30-Year-Old Fake FDA Officer Over Blackmailing Medical Shop Owner In Bhayandar

Mumbai: Police Arrest 30-Year-Old Fake FDA Officer Over Blackmailing Medical Shop Owner In Bhayandar

The action followed in response to a complaint filed by Lalit Bhaati who runs a medical store in the Padmavati Nagar area of Bhayandar (west).

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 10:09 PM IST
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Fake FDA Officer Vardhan Ramesh Salunkhe (30) |

Mumbai: The police have arrested a 30-year-old conman for posing as an official from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and trying to blackmail medical shop owners in Bhayandar for extorting money. The action followed in response to a complaint filed by Lalit Bhaati who runs a medical store in the Padmavati Nagar area of Bhayandar (West).

In his statement to the police, Bhaati said that the accused identified as-Vardhan Ramesh Salunkhe (30) walked into his store on Wednesday afternoon and introduced himself as an inspector attached to the Thane unit of the FDA. Salunkhe, who also flaunted his identity card, threatened to act against the medical store for violating the standard rule of storing medicines in racks at least eight inches off the floor.

Salunkhe who demanded Rs.75,000 as penalty agreed to negotiate and hush up the matter. Sensing something fishy, Bhaati contacted Rupesh Choudhary who is a member of the local medical store owner’s association and informed him about the incident only to learn that Salunkhe was an impersonator.

Before Choudhary and other medical shop owners could reach Bhaati’s shop, Salunkhe fled the spot. A few minutes later Choudhary received a call from another medical shop owner-Nitesh Suthar about the arrival of a food inspector. Bhati and Choudhary informed the police before rushing to the spot where they found Salunkhe blackmailing Suthar with a similar threat.

Salunkhe was taken into custody and booked under sections 171 (personating a public servant) and 385 (putting a person in fear to commit extortion) of the IPC. Investigations were on to ascertain the background of the accused and if he had extorted money from other medical store owners in the region using a similar modus operandi. Meanwhile the accused was remanded to custody after he was produced before the district sessions court, Thane on Thursday.

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