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Angadia extortion case: Eight months on, Mumbai police fail to trace absconding IPS officer Saurabh Tripathi

While the police arrested three lower-rung officers and bailed them out, the hunt for Tripathi fizzled out.

The LT Marg police on February 19 registered an FIR in connection with the angadia extortion case, in which four policemen were named as accused. (File photo)

The Mumbai police arrested an assistant police sub-inspector and a constable from the Sir JJ Marg police station Saturday after they allegedly extorted Rs 10,000 from a diamond merchant and booked the two lower-rung policemen. However, an IPS officer involved in a similar offence registered eight months ago remains untraced.

The LT Marg police on February 19 registered an FIR in connection with the angadia extortion case, in which four policemen, including the 2010 batch IPS officer Saurabh Tripathi were named as accused. While the police arrested the three lower-rung officers and bailed them out, the hunt for Tripathi fizzled out.

The Angadia system is a century-old parallel banking system in the country where traders send cash, generally from one state to another, through a person called angadia that stands for courier. According to the police, the three officers illegally detained some angadia businessmen from the Bhuleshwar area in south Mumbai for four days and extorted money under the pretext of taking action against them as they also threatened to inform the Income Tax department about their business transactions.

An officer said that rather than focusing on tracing Tripathi, who in the initial months managed to give the police the slip, they want to “focus on other important crimes”. Sources said that the message from the Mumbai police top brass is to “focus on the more urgent cases”.

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A message sent to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis about the Mumbai police’s failure to trace Tripathi for nearly eight months did not receive any response.

The police named Tripathi as a wanted accused in the case after the arrested officers said they were working on his orders. Tripathi, however, had fled by then and was suspended later.

The police arrested Tripathi’s brother-in-law and named his father as a wanted accused in the case. Recently, the police filed a chargesheet against the three officers arrested in the case and released on bail. Tripathi’s brother-in-law was also released on bail. It was expected that Tripathi would approach the Bombay High Court in connection with a bail plea but that has not transpired yet.

First published on: 18-10-2022 at 15:55 IST
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