Pune: Youth tries using gangster's name to extort Rs 1 cr from hotelier

He was influenced by a news report he saw on television about gangster Ravi Pujari’s threats to Bollywood stars, and felt that he, too, could play gangster

When 21-year-old Charles James Thapa was watching a news report on television of how gangster Ravi Pujari was allegedly threatening superstar Shah Rukh Khan, he came up with the idea of making extortion calls to rich businessmen using Pujari’s name.

Charles James Thapa

With this scheme in mind, he targeted a reputed hotelier from the city. He threatened the victim, claiming to be the underworld don, and demanded Rs 1 crore from him.

Thapa, originally from Assam, currently resides at B T Kawade Road in Ghorpadi. The Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) sleuths nabbed him in Hinjewadi on Wednesday morning and seized a mobile phone, which he had used to commit the offence. Thapa has been remanded in police custody till September 22.

Police Inspector Anil Patil, in-charge of AEC, said, “Thapa was working at a hotel in Baner. He also has worked as a waiter in different hotels in Bangalore and Goa. He got this idea to use gangster Ravi Pujari’s name when he was watching a news report on television about Shah Rukh Khan and Pujari.”

“Thapa then surfed the Internet and found a website which had a list of numbers of hotel owners. He called one of the hotel owners on Sunday seven times for extortion. The businessman then approached Shivajinagar police station and filed a complaint against the unknown caller. This was Thapa’s first extortion attempt,” PI Patil added.

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