Police have arrested a man for allegedly extorting Rs 15 lakh from a grocery trader by pretending to be a Crime Branch officer along with his three accomplices. The arrested accused has been identified as Vinod alias Bala Lakshman Godambe (33).
Grocery trader Prakash Bhati (33) has lodged the complaint in Kondhwa police station.
Bhati runs a grocery shop and has a godown in Kondhwa. Around 2 pm on Wednesday, the four accused came in a car and approached Bhati at his shop, said police.
Posing as officers of Pune City Police’s Crime Branch, the four took Bhati to his godown and threatened to lodge a case against him for storing gutkha products “illegally” at the godown. Godambe and his accomplices allegedly demanded Rs 15 lakh in extortion money, and once they were paid, escaped in their car.
Bhati then approached the police for help. He had noted down the number of the car used by the accused.
“Probe revealed that Godambe owned the car used by the accused. We have arrested Godambe and search is on for his accomplices. He and other accused have criminal records. A court has remanded Godambe to police custody till July 26. Further investigation is on,” said Senior Police Inspector Vinayak Gaikwad.