Though their attempt to solve the Sandhya Singh murder case is yet to bear fruit, officials of the Crime Branch (CB) solved five other cases of theft and cheating in the process.
The two suspects, including a contract killer, who were picked up for their involvement in the murder case, confessed to having played a role in two auto rickshaw thefts, a couple of employment rackets and a chain snatching.
Singh, sister of music director duo Jatin-Lalit and a resident of NRI Colony in Nerul, went missing along with jewellery worth Rs 20 lakh on December 13, 2012. Later, her skeletal remains were found near Vashi Creek in January.
Officials of the property cell from the CB picked up contract killer, Mohammad Arif Mehndi Hasan, on March 14 for his suspected involvement in the case as his cell phone location revealed that he was in Navi Mumbai the day Singh went missing from Nerul. Hasan had executed two jobs in 2009.
An official said that during interrogation, Hasan confessed to stealing an auto in Vashi and Chembur each. He was arrested and handed over to officials of the respective police stations in the areas where the thefts were executed.
In a week’s time, while browsing through Hasan’s call records, officials discovered that Mukesh Panikar, another history-sheeter, was in Nerul the day Singh went missing.
An official said, “On interrogating Panikar, we discovered that he is a history-sheeter and has a case of chain-snatching registered against him at the Colaba police station in 1999. He even confessed to having a couple of cheating cases registered against him at Pydhonie and Azad Maidan police stations.”
The official stated that Panikar had cheated several on the pretext of offering them jobs in foreign countries. He is wanted in Pydhonie for a cheating case registered in 2007 and had a non-bailable warrant issued against him by the court.
In the second case, officials of the Azad Maid an police station were on the lookout for Panikar for cheating several job seekers by promising them employment in Namibia last year. The officials had then sealed his bank account and recovered Rs 2.5 lakh from it.