Decade after extortion bid,real estate agent held

A decade after a builder lodged a complaint alleging that a real estate agent had tried to extort Rs 5 lakh from him,the Kalachowki police finally arrested the accused on Monday.

Written by Aiswarya A | Mumbai | Published:July 11, 2009 11:20 pm

A decade after a builder lodged a complaint alleging that a real estate agent had tried to extort Rs 5 lakh from him,the Kalachowki police finally arrested the accused on Monday.

In August 1998,Ramesh Shah,a builder,had bought a 392-sq-ft plot in Vile Parle. A few days after the sale,Parag Kotadia (50),a real estate agent,had allegedly claimed that he had a stake in the land.

“Kotadia had claimed that the previous owner of the land had sold some of its portions to him for Rs 10 lakh. He had also asked the developer to pay him some money,if he wanted Kotadia to hand over his rights over the land. However,Shah refused to give money claiming that the previous owner of the land had handed over all the documents of ownership to him. Kotadia on the other hand did not have any documents to prove his claims,” said Police Inspector Bhimashankar Dhole of the Kalachowki police station.

Kotadia had allegedly threatened Shah several times with dire consequences,if he did not give money. Enraged at this,Shah had lodged a complaint with the police. “But after learning about the complaint,Kotadia had gone into hiding,” said Dhole. However,the police had booked Kotadia for extortion threats.

Senior Police Inspector Ramesh Poman of the Kalachowki police station said that over the years,Kotadia was termed as an absconder and the detection team was entrusted with the responsibility of tracing him. “Kotadia kept evading arrest and also applied for anticipatory bail many times. His last bail plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court. Last Sunday,after receiving a tip-off that Kotadia was in the city,we immediately dispatched a team and nabbed him,” said Poman.

During the preliminary interrogation,Kotadia revealed to the police that he had been staying in his hometown in Gujarat for the past ten years to avoid arrest.

“Kotadia’s parents own a house at Vile Parle. But after learning about the complaint against him,they asked him to go out. For the past ten years,he didn’t have any long-term means of livelihood as he was on the run. His wife and children have been staying in a 10×10 ft house at Kandivli. As per the tip-off,Kotadia was expected to arrive in Vile Parle to meet his parents. The detection team laid a trap in Vile Parle and in Kandivli. He was finally arrested from Kandivli,” said Dhole.

The Kalachowki police had classified the case under the “true but undetected” category. But with the arrest of Kotadia,the have reopened the case.

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