The anti-extortion cell of the city’s Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested three people, who had allegedly kidnapped a fruit exporter and forced him to sign a cheque of Rs 20 lakh at gunpoint.
Police said that the arrested accused identified as Ashish Dangat (28) and Dipak Londhe had invested Rs 1.45 crore in the grapes export business of Prashant Bhosale (40), a resident of Undri. But Bhosale incurred losses in the business, and expressed inability to pay dividend on the money invested by the duo. The principal amount was later returned to the pair, but it did not go down well with them, as they wanted some returns. Police said after the disappointment, the duo along with their friends hatched a plan to extract money from Bhosale.
“Dangat and Bhosale are known to each other since several years and, in 2010, Bhosale invited Dangat and his friend Londhe to invest money into his business of exporting grapes. Following which both of them invested a sum total of Rs 1.45 cr. However, Bhosale later incurred huge losses in the business and conveyed the same to the duo,” said Rajendra Bhamare, assistant police commissioner (I). Bhamare said that Bhosale returned their principal amount of Rs 1.45 cr, but both men got angry and started demanding their share of dividend.
“On Monday, when Bhosale, his brother and nephew, were on their way to Mulshi, six to seven men, including Dangat and Londhe, waylaid their car near Katraj-Dehuroad bypass and threatened Bhosale at gunpoint, asking him to sit in their car. They drove him to a office of one Madhukar Thorat in Shivajinagar at around 4 pm, where they again forced him to sign a cheque of Rs 20 lakh at gunpoint,” said Bhamare.
Bhosale was allowed to leave and was asked not to open his mouth once outside. R V Fuge, police inspector with the anti-extortion cell, said that Bhosale then approached the Crime Branch and lodged a complaint against the accused. “We have also arrested Thorat in this case and a man hunt has been launched to nab the others in the case,” said Fuge.