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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai Crime News > Article > Mumbai Crime Branch arrest 6 in connection with Rs 116 crore extortion case

Mumbai Crime Branch arrest 6 in connection with Rs 116 crore extortion case

Updated on: 01 February,2024 08:16 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan |

Six people, including Romi Bhagat, have been arrested by Mumbai Crime Branch's Unit 09 for attempting to extort Rs 116 crore through a builder with an unidentified Enforcement Directorate (ED) person.

Mumbai Crime Branch arrest 6 in connection with Rs 116 crore extortion case

Accused Romil Bhagat

Mumbai Crime Branch's Unit 09 has arrested six people, including Romi Bhagat, a liaison with close contacts to officials and politicians. They are accused of attempting to extort Rs 116 crore; FIR stated that an unidentified Enforcement Directorate (ED) person colluded with the accused. The case began with a complaint filed by Omkar Realtors against five people, one of whom was an unknown ED person.

Avinash Dubey, Rajendra Sirsat, Rakesh Kedia, Kalpesh Bhosale, Amay Savekar, and Romi Bhagat were arrested over the last week. Romi Bhagat, known for his connections, played a crucial role in the extortion case. Before their arrest, just Rs 25 lakh was paid. The crime branch is looking into the links between the accused and the unknown ED officer. According to sources, a syndicate worked in concert with anonymous ED personnel to extort numerous business owners.

An official from the crime branch told mid-day, "We are investigating their links and the role of the unknown ED officer. We are also probing if they were just using the name of the ED to extort money or they in reality have links with an ED person."

Romi Bhagat, who was arrested on Tuesday and presented in court on Wednesday, was represented by Adv Jugal Kanani. Bhagat's counsel denied his involvement in the case and also claimed that the cops did not follow the due procedure while making the arrest. Presently, Bhagat has been remanded to crime branch custody till February 6 while other accused persons' custody was increased by a day as well. 

"My client has nothing to do with the case and while arresting the crime branch officials did not follow due procedure. My client was not served the 41A notice as per the law. The main accused is Savekar who received 25 lakh and is now in judicial custody. My client has already handed over his phone for investigation and his custodial interrogation is not required," Kanani had told the court. 

The issue comes from a disagreement over the renovation of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar CHS in Bandra, Mumbai, between Dhanuka Builders and Omkar Realtors. The complainant was threatened with ED action if they did not pay with Dhanuka. Dhanuka attended a meeting that contained threats and demands for a 116 crore payment, which resulted in arrests and an ongoing inquiry.

On January 6, the complainant, Tarachand Mulchand Verma of Omkar Realtor & Developers received an anonymous WhatsApp call threatening him with ED action if does not resolve the issue with Dhanuka Builders. He was the following day informed by a 'friend' that ED was intensifying their probe against Vermas. He connected Tarachand with Sandeep who claimed he had ties with ED officers. They met at Nariman Point on January 10 and Dhanuka Builders was also present there. 

It was during this meeting the Dhanuka builders demanded Rs 116 crore from the complainant threatening him with dire consequences if he did not pay money. He had told Tarachand Verma that his entire team would face arrests. 

Following this, Tarachand approached the cops saying that he was being investigated by the ED in connection with a financial irregularities case and that his brothers Babulal Verma and Kamal Kishore Gupta were arrested. However, the case was quashed by the Bombay High Court. "The investigation by agencies like the ED and the subsequent arrests left us deeply concerned," Verma said in his complaint. 

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