On July 26, when the businessman returned from Punjab, his wife narrated to him the incident. When they checked the CCTV footage, they believed the persons were imposters and rushed to Parksite police station
Representative image. Pic/Istock
The Parksite cops have arrested three and are looking for three more people in connection with a fake income tax raid at a Vikroli-based businessman's house in late July 2022. The gang had barged into builders' homes claiming an IT Raid and managed to get away with one lakh rupee cash.
On July 26, 2022, when the businessman's wife returned home after visiting a doctor, she found her mother-in-law waiting with an unknown woman outside their flat on the 6th floor. When she asked, what she is doing outside the flat and who is the lady, her mother-in-law told her, that these were staff from the Income Tax office and they are carrying out a raid on both the flats on the 6th and 7th floor.
The businessman's wife reached the 7th floor, where the woman accompanying his mother-in-law took her phone and asked to sit quietly. The businessman's wife saw, there were three men and two women and they had taken the mobile phones of her father-in-law and other house help as well.
"The men claimed, we have formed many shell companies to swindle money. Also, my husband hasn't handed over charge of his housing secretary and asked me to open cupboard at home" told the complainant to the police. "After checking all the cupboards men found Rs 1 Lakh cash which they took in their custody. When I asked for documents about inspection and taking money into custody, they claimed I will get it through e-mail" added the complainant.
While leaving, the men and women took the businessman's driver with him and said, they will return mobile phone of all with him. After 10-15 min, the driver returned with the phone.
On the 26th night when the businessman returned from Punjab, his wife narrated to him the incident. When they checked the CCTV footage, they believed the persons were imposters and rushed to Parksite police station.
Senior Inspector Vinayak Mer directed API Vinit Kadam to investigate the matter. An FIR was registered against unknown persons under IPC section 448 (house trespass), 451 (House-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 452 (House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) 170 (personating a public servant), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention).
While checking CCTV of the building, cops got the number of the SUV in which the accused had come. The owner of the vehicle was found to be a jewellery designer, a resident of Prabhadevi. When he was called for inquiry he told that his SUV was borrowed by a person from Dharavi. When Dharavi man was brought for inquiry he told he gave the vehicle on a rental basis to Ejaz Ahmed Khan (27) who claimed of using the vehicle for his partner Nitin Kothari. Ejaz was arrested on 30th July.
"After arresting the first accused we started getting information of other accused as well. Then we identified Prashant Bhatnagar (54). Bhatnagar is one of the main accused in the crime, he is a resident of Panvel, and a physiatrist by profession" told an official. He was arrested by cops on August 4. While Dhiraj Kamble (35) and Wasim Qurehi alias Ravi Verma were arrested on August 11 and 12 respectively.
The accused haven't shared much information about how they all teamed up and why they choose this businessman, in particular, to carry out the raid. According to cops, the raid was planned by absconding accused Nitin Kothari who selected the target randomly but got very little than expected.
"We have arrested three persons and looking for three more. We are yet to recover money too," said Vinayak Mer, Senior Inspector from Parksite police station. The arrested accused are trying to mislead us, but we will arrest the rest of the accused soon" he added. Cops are yet to arrest Nitin Kothari, Shamim Khan and Mariyam the 3 accused who are still absconding.