The Mumbai police crime branch,which is probing an extortion case against former gangster Ashwin Naik,said on Thursday that the complainants business partners have also been booked in connection with the case. The disclosure comes after the complainant told investigators that Naik,who was arrested on Wednesday, had told him that his partners were tipping off the former gangster about his income.
Crime branch investigations have also reportedly revealed that part of the extortion money was paid by Naik online through Real Time Gross Settlement (RGTS).
Naik was remanded in police custody till June 14 by a city court. His lawyer petitioned the court to allow a helper to be with the former gangster during his police custody to attend to him,arguing that as he is confined to a wheelchair he would not be able to perform some basic activities. Police sources said the court had granted the request.
Senior crime branch officers also said a search was under way at Naiks residence in central Mumbai on Thursday evening.
Naik,who was granted bail in a separate extortion case on Wednesday,was nabbed later the same evening by the Anti-Extortion Cell of the crime branch after a complaint by a builder.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said the police received a complaint against the former gangster on Tuesday.
The complainant approached us after reading media reports about the other extortion case registered against Naik,in which a man has accused his cousin sister of using Naik to recover money from him. This builder told us that Naik had threatened and extorted Rs 3 crore from him over a period of three years. The builder has also told us that Naik told him that the builders business partners were tipping him off about his income. We have also charged the partners for the crime and are on the lookout for them, said Roy.
Crime branch investigations and documents submitted by the builder have revealed that he paid the gangster three cheques of Rs 51,000,Rs 50,000 and Rs 50,000 each and paid him Rs 2 lakh online through RGTS.
In his complaint,the builder said he undertook a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project at Dadar in 2005 with two partners.
The builder has said that in 2006,Naiks men came to meet him. Naik was lodged at Kalyan Jail. The persons demanded Rs 30 lakh from the builder. He was set to file a police complaint,but his two partners advised him against it. They told him to pay the money,but said the builder would have to pay from his share, said Roy.
On May 3,Naik allegedly sent the builder a threatening SMS message. The builder then went to Bangkok and returned to the city a few weeks ago. After reading media reports about the case against Naik,the builder approached the crime branch.
We verified his allegations and arrested Naik in connection with the cases. A case of extortion and criminal trespass has been registered against him. I would also like to appeal to all citizens who have been harassed by Naik to approach us, said Roy.