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Man takes tips from crime show, turns to extortion

Threatened hotelier by posing as a D-gang aide; was desperate to better his financial condition

While most crime shows on television are inspired by real-life incidents, here is one criminal who took inspiration from a TV show to pull off a con job. He made extortion calls posing as an aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
However, 29-year-old Saurabh Shah (see pic) alias Sultanbhai, met the same fate of those criminals portrayed in the show, and is now cooling his heels behind bars.

A part-time real estate agent, Shah had made extortion calls to hotelier-cum-real estate agent, Kamlesh Desai.

Officialspeak
According to Arun Bhagat, SPI of Juhu police station, "Shah had come to Mumbai a year ago from Surat and was staying in Kandivli. Owing to his bleak financial status, he decided to extort money from Desai, whom he had met while negotiating a real estate deal some months ago." Bhagat added that Shah was inspired by an episode of a crime show based on real life criminal incidents and took tips from it to extort money from Desai.

According to the police, Shah called Desai on several occasions, between November 7 and 14, and introduced himself as a D-gang member. Terrified after receiving calls from an underworld don, Desai promptly approached the Juhu police for help. Initially, Shah had threatened Desai of dire consequences if the latter failed to pay Rs 50 lakh. However, after Desai requested for an extension to arrange for the money, Shah asked him to pay a token amount of Rs 1 lakh. He asked Desai to drop it near a coffee shop on Gulmohar Rd No 1 in Juhu.

Shah's arrest
Based on their conversation, the police laid a trap and arrested Shah. During interrogation, Shah confessed to his crime and said that the crime was an outcome of his desperation to improve his financial status.

He also revealed that he took tips from one of the episodes, where the focus was on an extortionist. Shah has been booked under Section 383 (whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any injury to that person, or to any other) of the Indian Penal Code. He was produced in the Andheri Court yesterday and has been remanded to police custody for three days.

Confession
During interrogation, Shah confessed to his crime and said that the crime was an outcome of his desperation to improve his financial status.

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