SATISH MANGLE, the private detective arrested by the Thane police for allegedly extorting money from IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar, used his technical expertise for keeping tabs on his clients to keep his Dombivli office under wraps.
Mangle, who was arrested with his second wife from his Dombivli office-cum-residence, had been using a Sri Lankan mobile phone number and another number, which basically got call forwards from a mobile phone kept in Kolhapur. As a result, whenever the Thane police tried to track him down, his location was always either in Sri Lanka or Kolhapur. The police later found he had planned to escape to Sri Lanka in the wee hours of Saturday before he was arrested. The police on Saturday also arrested one Atul Tawde, the brother-in-law of Mangle.
A police officer said, “Mangle knew we could track him using his phone, so he never used a phone that was based out of Mumbai. We had no inkling that he had taken a flat on rent at Palava city, which he also used as his office. “It was only when Mangle gave his Dombivli address so that he could accept the alleged Rs 1 crore bribe at his residence that the police claimed they found his office and arrested him,” he said.
The police has said Mangle, who has a case of rape and extortion registered against him in the past, was in the habit of getting details about people through a web portal that provides financial performance of businesses in exchange for money. “He had even researched on Mopalwar through this portal. He also checked about the properties owned by the bureaucrat through his PAN card and other details,” an officer said. The police have found Mangle was in the habit of storing call records and had thrice purchased additional storage space from an internet service provider as the data overshot the prescribed limit provided by the e-mail service. “He claims he did record several conversations but they were all linked to his clients,” an officer said.
Mangle, who after his SSC, did a diploma course that he left midway, has four vehicles including a BMW and a Mercedes, claimed an officer from the Thane Anti Extortion Cell. Apart from this, he has two houses, one on Mira Road and another in Nallasopara where either of his wives resides, the officer said. “He told us that he had also invested nearly Rs 1 crore in building projects in the Nallasopara area. He had also started a spa in Borivali. We are questioning him about the source of the money he has made over the years,” the officer said. The police have also called for the CCTV cameras of two hotels where Mangle allegedly struck a deal with Mopalwar to drop corruption complains against him in exchange for Rs 10 crore.
Mangle had been engaged by Mopalwar’s estranged wife to gather evidence to support her divorce case. The police said in the process, he recorded conversations between Mopalwar and other individuals in which illegal financial dealings were allegedly discussed. Mopalwar, who recorded Mangle demanding money, then approached the Thane police, which registered an FIR and arrested Mangle along with his wife. Mopalwar has been on leave from his post as the vice-chairman and managing director of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) since August after the voice recordings were leaked in the public domain that allegedly show him demanding bribe.