The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has recovered a cache of 13 cellphones, along with five weapons and 17 live rounds of ammunition, from two alleged associates of a wanted fugitive who were arrested recently. The cellphones, believed to have been used for communicating with the fugitive, are now being analysed by the Crime Branch.
On April 6 this year, the Anti Extortion Cell of the Crime Branch had arrested Dayanand Jatan and Bipin Patil in connection with an alleged plot to murder a Dombivali-based politician as well as for planning to attack and intimidate several businessmen and political leaders from the Thane district. The Crime Branch went on to recover a weapon belonging to 2005 murder victim Jaywant Mhatre as well as three cellphones from the accused.
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“From their arrest up to now, we have recovered a total of 13 cell phones, five foreign made weapons, one of which belongs to Mhatre, and 17 live rounds of ammunition. We are analysing the data in the phones for further clues. Until now, we know that the arrested accused had passed on information about several people to the gang leader, and we in direct touch with him,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Atulchandra Kulkarni.
The Crime Branch is now collating all phone numbers and content of text messages from the 13 cell phones in order to find out which numbers the fugitive was contacted on, and who else the accused were in touch with, said officers.
Crime Branch officers said that Patil, who is a businessman and has several wine shops in Mumbai and Thane, used to collect information about prospective targets who could be intimidated and extorted. “The recovery of Jaywant Mhatre’s weapon from the arrested accused indicates that this gang was active at least for the last ten years. The other weapons, too, are foreign made and of superior quality,” Kulkarni added.