It doesn’t get stranger than this. When Aryan Allimuddin Sheikh alias Aftab Salim Sheikh, a chain snatcher, called up Dipesh Mehta, actor Salman Khan’s lawyer, demanding a sum of Rs 2 crore, he never imagined that he would not only be sweet talked into reducing the amount to Rs 2 lakh but also be promptly arrested by the cops. The crime branch unit 9 of Mumbai police nabbed Sheikh on Saturday afternoon after he came to collect the money near Mehboob Studios in Bandra.
Senior police inspector Sanjay Satardekar of crime branch unit 9 said, “Sheikh is a resident of Mahrolli Pratap Nagar, New Delhi. He has several cases of chain snatching registered against him. We have recovered the mobile phones and the sim card that he used to call Mehta. However, the mastermind of the case, Anthony Dias, who guided Sheikh is still at large.
Sheikh told cops that after getting the amount, he was planning to start a business in his hometown.
The series of events
In September 2012, Sheikh was arrested for chain snatching and imprisoned for 15 months. A police source said, “Sheikh met Dias in Arthur Road jail where the duo planned the whole conspiracy.”
On December 16, Sheikh went to Mehta’s office with a bouquet at Dhoop Chhaon Building on 28th Road in Bandra West. He gave a fake name, Azad, at the building’s lobby. He had concealed a letter and a live cartridge in the bouquet. After Mehta received the letter, Sheikh started calling him demanding money. From December 16 to 20, he called him 40 times.
According to sources from crime branch, Mehta handled the whole situation very tactfully. An officer said, “Mehta was never rude or nervous while talking to Sheikh. He always spoke to him in a calm and composed tone. He won Sheikh’s confidence and managed to reduce the amount to Rs two lakh on the pretext that he will help him in the future. He also called him to collect the money.”
Finally on Saturday afternoon, the cops laid a trap and nabbed Sheikh.