The Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of the Mumbai police Crime Branch claimed to have busted an extortion racket run by associates of fugitive gangster Chhota Rajan.
Police identified Rajan’s key members as one Aftab Alam alias Haji believed to based in Malaysia and has a Red Corner Notice against him since 2003. AEC recently arrested four persons, in addition to the two arrested earlier this year, for allegedly threatening a Dahisar-based businessman of dire consequences if he did not pay a sum of Rs 15 crores.
Police said six accused arrested by the AEC are Vinod Rajpute (26), Shailesh Uttekar (40), Gopal Shetty (34), Keshav Bhange (28), Prashant Muliye (25) and Nadeem Kazi (49).
“Call record details of Kazi’s phone show he is a close associate of Alam. It was revealed that Alam made calls from international numbers and demanded 15 crores,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police (Detection).
Police said besides extorting money from the Dahisar businessman Kazi, Muliye and Bhange were also believed to be running an extortion racket in Navi Mumbai where the trio live. According to the police, the trio roamed around Navi Mumbai as estate agents and sought information about projects.
“There is a special scheme of 12.5 per cent in Navi Mumbai, where land owner gives his land for re-development to prospective buyers. The trio used to penetrate in this scheme as estate agents and take details of developers. Later, they passed the details to Alam, who made threat calls. Kazi, Muliye and Bhange played a vital role in collecting and transporting the extorted money,” said an officer.