40-year-old soft drinks distributor would claim to be a member of a notorious underworld gang to threaten businessmen in western suburbs into paying up, a few did, cops said
A special squad of the west region has arrested Mohammad Mukhtar Alam Sheikh (40), a distributor of soft drinks, for extorting money from businessmen by posing as a member of don Chhota Rajan's gang. Allegedly, this was the 11th extortion he attempted in the name of notorious underworld mobs.
Fake gangster: Cops said Sheikh (face covered), who was arrested on December 6, made extortion calls in the names of gangland operatives Hemant Pujari, Ravi Pujari and others
According to the officials from the squad, on December 5, they received a complaint from a businessman in Bandra West regarding an extortion call he received. The complainant stated that the caller identified himself as the right-hand man of Chhota Rajan and demanded Rs 5 lakh from him.
"The caller threatened the businessman, saying 'Bhaijan ne bola hai 5 peti tayaar rakhna. Paisa nahi diya to teri puri family khatam ho jayegi.' (Bhai has asked you to arrange for Rs five lakh or else we will bump off your entire family)," said assistant police inspector Nitin Patil.
The cops informed the businessman to continue with the negotiations in order to buy some time to trace the accused. The day after the complaint, on December 6, the businessman received another call, asking him to drop a briefcase stuffed with the money at M K Marg in Kalanagar, Bandra.
A special squad laid a trap at Kalanagar by dropping a dummy briefcase at the spot. About half an hour after the decided time, Sheikh arrived at the spot in a Santro to collect the briefcase and was arrested.
Investigations revealed that the car the accused drove had been stolen from Mulund. Sheikh was booked under Section 383 (extortion) of the IPC, and was produced in the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Court which remanded him to police custody till December 12.
During interrogations, Sheikh revealed that he is a distributor of cold drinks in western suburbs and he owns two godowns in Dongri and one in Nirmal Nagar, Bandra. He confessed that he has made extortion calls to around 10 businessmen from the western suburbs in the names of Hemant Pujari, Ravi Pujari and Chhota Rajan.
Some of the victims have even paid the extortion to him, officials said.