Six persons have been arrested from Pune for allegedly using the phone number of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar for extortion. Police said on Friday that these people had used the phone number of the deputy chief minister to contact a city builder and extort Rs 20 lakh from him.
A police officer said that on getting information about this, the crime branch had laid a trap and on Thursday arrested the accused after taking two lakh rupees from the builder. One of the accused had used Pawar's phone number through a fake call application and posed as an employee of the deputy chief minister.
The accused have been identified as Navnath Chormale, Saurabh Kakade, Sunil Waghmare, Kiran Kakade, Chaitanya Waghmare and Akash Nikalje. Police said that the builder had bought a piece of land in 1997 from Chormale's grandfather. Recently, Chormale had demanded compensation from the builder and also filed a petition for the same.
He also told this to Saurabh Kakade, who claimed to be identified as Pawar's personal assistant, offering help. Kakade promises Chormale that he will ask the personal assistant to call the builder. Kakade then called up the builder using Pawar's number through a fake call app.
The builder's assistant picked up the phone realizing that Pawar was getting a call. Kakade introduced himself as Pawar's personal assistant and asked him to resolve the dispute with Chormale. On coming to know about this, the builder called Pawar's real personal assistant and it was found that the call was not made from the Deputy Chief Minister's phone.
The builder then approached Chormale who was demanding Rs 20 lakh to settle the matter. Police said that the accused has been arrested red handed while taking two lakh rupees. Kakade has admitted during interrogation that he had used Ajit Pawar's phone number through a fake call application.
On the other hand, in another extortion case, Mumbai Bridges has arrested a person from Bangalore who was trying to extort Rs 2 crore from a builder. The arrested person has been identified as Mahesh Sanjeev Pujari (35). He was arrested by the Malad Police team in Karnataka on Wednesday and brought to Mumbai on Thursday.
A police officer said that Pujari had called the builder through a mobile phone app from a fake international number in May last year. He had demanded two crore rupees from the builder and threatened to kill him if he did not pay the money. When the builder did not pay heed to this, the accused made several calls after which he approached the police.
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The police took technical help from the cyber cell and found out that the accused was in Bengaluru. Accordingly, a team of Malad Police was sent to Bangalore where he was arrested. According to Dhananjay Ligade, Senior Inspector of Malad Police Station, the accused does not do any work but he is technically proficient and has good knowledge of computers etc.