TWO YOUNGSTERS who watched a gangster movie and were inspired by it to earn “easy money” through extortion have landed behind bars. The two, who made an extortion call seeking Rs 1.5 crore from a 71-year-old Mulund-based man, were arrested by Mulund police on Saturday and are now in jail.
The accused, Vishal Panchal (24), told the police that he and his friend Idris Ashim were inspired to make the extortion bid after watching Marathi flick “Dagadi Chawl” loosely based on the life of gangster Arun Gawli. An officer from Mulund police said it was Panchal’s birthday on March 18.
He, along with Ashim, watched “Dagadi Chawl” and were inspired by it to carry it out in real life. Panchal, a resident of Murbad, worked for his uncle Veerbhai (71), who runs a tractor spare parts production factory at Murbad. Panchal and Ashim decided that they could extort money from Veerbhai and hatched a plan. On March 25 and 27 the accused made extortion calls to Veerbhai using Ashim’s phone.
“The accused called and demanded ‘ded koti’ (1.5 crore) from his uncle,” an officer said. The complainant approached Mulund police and gave a written complaint following which an FIR was registered on charges of extortion against unidentified persons. The police began the probe and found that the call had been made using Ashim’s mobile phone. On interrogating Ashim, he led the police to Panchal and told them about the plan.
An officer said, “The accused saw the movie and thought they could threaten the complainant. Their plan was to use the money to set up a workshop for producing iron nails. They thought they would not be tracked down.” The two accused were formally placed under arrest on Saturday. They were produced in a court and remanded in police custody till April 4.