Flower vendor arrested for extortion

Anti-Extortion Cell of the Thane police arrested a 25-year-old flower vendor for extortion. According to the police,the vendor sent a threat note to a businessman demanding Rs 10 lakh.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:March 29, 2009 4:15 am

Anti-Extortion Cell of the Thane police arrested a 25-year-old flower vendor for extortion. According to the police,the vendor sent a threat note to a businessman demanding Rs 10 lakh. The accused,Bablu Gorang Dalai,hailing from West Bengal,has been staying in Thane for past nine years,said the police. However,the multi-lingual clues found in the note helped the sleuths trace the vendor,who was caught red-handed when he came to collect the money.

Last Tuesday,a Thane businessman was surprised to receive a basket of fruits that a courier boy delivered to him at his plush residence. When the delivery boy said he didn’t know the name of the person who had sent them,the businessman had checked the basket and found a letter. Written in Hindi,the letter comprised a few sentences asking him to pay Rs 10 lakh,if he wanted his family to be safe.

“A worried businessman had filed a complaint with the Anti-Extortion Cell. The letter he got said the accused would throw acid on the complainant’s family members,if he refused to pay the money. A phone number was also given in the letter. We then started tracing the owner of the number,” said Prashant Burde,additional commissioner of police (Crime),Thane.

The police learnt that the accused was using the number of a stolen phone. The letter,however,yielded a breakthrough in the case. “Though the words used in the letter were in Hindi,some of them sounded like Bengali. The way he had written the letter confirmed our suspicion that the accused might be a Bengali,” said Police Sub-Inspector Anil Bhawari. On Wednesday,the police asked the businessman to call up the given number and tell the extortionist that he was ready to pay the money. A trap was laid at the spot where the meeting was to happen and as soon as Dalai reached,the police nabbed him.

“He supplied flowers to the businessman. Having visited the businessman’s house many times,he knew the family members and was sure that the businessman would shell out money to avert any threats,” said Burde. The police confirmed that Dalai was a first-time offender. He resorted to extortion as he had incurred a debt due to his addiction to lottery.

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