Two journalists of a local publication were apprehended in an extortion bid made to a spa owner. The accused duo, who had approached the spa owner under the pretext of enquiring if they were adhering to the norms of operations post lockdown, had extorted ₹55,000 in a series of transactions. Both the accused have been arrested and booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for extortion.
According to police, after the unlock procedure in the state had begun, private establishments were reopening. Taking advantage of the situation, the accused duo, identified as Abhinandan Paliwal and Ankit Gupta, introduced themselves as journalists and began enquiring about the operations. The duo later threatened to conduct a raid at the spa and accused them of illegal activities, said a police source.
Paliwal and Gupta then demanded an extortion to keep mum about the situation and had accepted over ₹55,000 from the spa owner, in a series of transactions, between October and December. The duo, however, returned with an additional demand of ₹55,000, which is when the spa owner approached police and lodged a complaint.
Subsequently, the duo was booked under relevant sections of the IPC for extortion. Primary probe has revealed that Paliwal and Gupta have similar offences of extortion registered at Samta Nagar, Saki Naka and Nagpada police stations, along with a few lodged with Thane Police. Goregaon Police are ascertaining how many more people have been extorted by the duo and are investigating the matter further.