Mumbai Crime: Tainted ex-cricketer Robin Morris held on extortion and kidnapping charges

Updated: 05 December, 2019 07:14 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Former Mumbai player Robin Morris, who was named in a match-fixing expose for allegedly getting pitches doctored, and four others kidnapped a loan agent after losing processing fee.

Robin Morris,
Robin Morris,

Former first-class cricket player Robin Morris, who was accused of match-fixing by an international news channel last year, has now found himself on the wrong side of the law. Morris and four others were held on December 1 for kidnapping a loan agent from Kurla and taking him to Versova to extort Rs 2 lakh.

Morris and his accomplices allegedly kidnapped the loan agent on Saturday, November 30 from outside Kurla railway station and took him to Versova. Morris had applied for a personal loan of R3 crore at a private agency last year, for which he had paid R9 lakh as processing fee. The application was made through the loan agent, Shyam Talreja, 36, a Kalyan resident. However, the loan was denied by the company and Morris started pursuing Talreja for the processing fee.

Morris demanded the money from Talreja, saying he had guaranteed the approval of loan. Considering the influence Morris might be wielding and the extent of his dealings, Talreja paid Morris R7 lakh in 2018. "Morris had been pursuing Talreja for the remaining R2 lakh for almost a year. Talreja had been avoiding him by giving vague responses," said a police officer from Kurla police station.

On the afternoon of November 30, Morris arranged a meeting with Talreja outside Kurla station. "Talreja was invited inside a car for the discussion but he found five people, including Morris, sitting inside. The car drove off and Talreja was taken to a flat in Versova," the officer said.

While Talreja was held captive in the flat, he asked permission to make a few calls. "He called one of his friends and told him about the incident," said a police officer. "The friend immediately alerted Kurla police."

"Two teams from Kurla police station led by Assistant Police Inspector Kailas Tirmare were dispatched to Versova. Talreja was rescued at around 10.30 pm. All five accused, including Morris, present at the flat were arrested," said Dattatray Shinde, Senior Inspector of Kurla police station.

Apart from Morris, the other accused were identified as Granville D'silva, 51, a businessman from Andheri, Ahmed Ali Ansari, 44, a businessman from Jogeshwari, Alex Miranda, 48, a gym coordinator from Versova, and Rupesh Bhimanna, 19, a decorator residing in Versova. All accused were booked for kidnapping, wrongful confinement, and criminal intimidation. They have been sent to judicial custody.

Who is Robin Morris?
Robin Morris, a former Mumbai first-class player, was called a "match fixer" by Al Jazeera channel in May 2018. The television network claimed that Morris admitted in a documentary, produced by them that he was involved in bribing Sri Lankan groundsman, Tharanga Indika in Galle 2017 to alter the pitch for two Test matches to suit bookmakers. Al Jazeera website quoted Morris telling undercover reporters at a meeting in Galle:

"What happens is he (curator Indika) — we — can make a pitch to do whatever we want it to do. Because he's the main curator. He is the assistant manager and curator of the Galle stadium." In response, Morris had told mid-day: "It's all fabricated. I am exploring legal options to sue the news channel." He has been living in London with his family and keeps shuttling between the UK and India.

9 lakh
The processing fee Morris lost when he was denied the loan

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First Published: 05 December, 2019 07:04 IST

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