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Maharashtra: Man held for extorting builders by posing as forest department official in Thane

Updated on: 27 April,2024 12:22 PM IST  |  Thane
mid-day online correspondent |

The Special Task Force (STF) and the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of the Thane police's crime branch arrested the accused Prasadkumar Uttam Bhalerao

Maharashtra: Man held for extorting builders by posing as forest department official in Thane

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Police have arrested a 33-year-old man for allegedly extorting builders in Thane district of Maharashtra by posing as a forest department official in Thane, an official said, reported news agency PTI.


The Special Task Force (STF) and the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of the Thane police's crime branch arrested the accused Prasadkumar Uttam Bhalerao, reported PTI.



A builder from Shil Daighar area of Thane lodged a complaint against him in this connection, he said.


"Posing as a forest department official in Thane, Bhalerao lodged complaints against the victim and other builders in the region to extort money. On April 23, the accused demanded Rs 7,60,000 from the victim for withdrawing complaints and RTI applications against him," Assistant Commissioner of Police (STF) Shekar Bagde told PTI.

After the victim's complaint, the police teams laid a trap and apprehended Bhalerao while accepting the extortion amount of Rs 5.60 lakh at Shil village around 6 pm on Thursday, he said, reported PTI.

A case was registered in this connection at the Shil-Daighar police station on April 25 under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 384, 385, 387 (all pertaining to extortion), 170 (personating a public servant), he said.

In another case, the police in Maharashtra's Thane district have busted an IPL betting racket by conducting a raid at a hotel in Bhiwandi, and arrested three persons hailing from Chhattisgarh in this connection, an official said, reported PTI.

The operation was conducted jointly by the officials of the Special Task Force and the Anti-Extortion Cell of the Thane police's crime branch on April 25, Deputy Commissioner of Police Shivraj Patil said in a press conference on Friday evening.

Efforts are on to trace one more accused, who partnered with the arrested trio and operated the racket from Chhattisgarh, he said.

"The police had received a tip-off that some persons were inviting people to place their bets on the ongoing IPL cricket matches. Accordingly, a raid was conducted at a hotel in Kongaon village in Bhiwandi between 7.30 pm and 11 pm on Thursday," he said, reported PTI.

The accused trio was caught taking bets on the match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Sunrisers Hyderabad. They were making use of the mobile applications and collected a total of Rs 11,86,811 from people, the official said, reported PTI.

The fourth accused, who operated from Chhattisgarh, collected Rs 7,03,000 from people on the bets, he said.

"The trio had obtained SIM cards by forging documents. During the raids, the police seized 12 mobiles, one tablet and laptop each collectively valued at Rs 1.97 lakh from them," Patil said, reported PTI.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Shekar Bagde said the police have launched an operation to nab the fourth who operated from Korba in Chhattisgarh, reported PTI.

The arrested accused were identified as Shannu Lalit Berival (31), Rajat Babula Sharma (30) and Vijay Sitaram Devgan (40), he said, reported PTI.

A first information report (FIR) was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 420 (cheating), 465, 467, 468, 471 (all pertaining to forgery) and 34 (common intention) at the Kongaon police station, the official said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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