3 cops, 2 oth­ers held for loot­ing man of ` 1 crore

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NAVI MUM­BAI: The Vashi po­lice ar­rested three po­lice­men at­tached to Trom­bay po­lice sta­tion and two oth­ers on Wed­nes­day for their al­leged in­volve­ment in a Rs1 crore hawala scam. The po­lice have re­cov­ered Rs48 lakh from the ac­cused and are search­ing for four oth­ers, whom they sus­pect have a role to play.

The three ar­rested cops in­clude two po­lice sub-in­spec­tors Pankaj Khairnar, 32, a res­i­dent of Vashi’s Sec­tor 28, Nileshku­mar San­dan­shiv, 28, a res­i­dent of Khadak­pada in Kalyan and con­sta­ble Ja­nar­dan Raje, 47, a res­i­dent of Dom­bivli, while the other ar­rested ac­cused are Bal­raj Swami alias Uday, 50, a Dom­bivli res­i­dent and Lax­man Swami, 41, a Trom­bay res­i­dent, said the po­lice. The po­lice are look­ing out for Af­sar alias Hanif, a cricket coach, and Altaf — both res­i­dents of Bhatkal in Kar­nataka — and Kam­raj, Uday’s brother and Raju Koli a driver.

The in­ci­dent came to light af­ter a Mo­hammed Salim Kazia, 58, a res­i­dent of Bhatkal vil­lage, filed a com­plaint with the po­lice on De­cem­ber 20 about him be­ing looted.

While prob­ing the case, the po­lice learnt about Kazia reg­u­larly tak­ing hawala money from Zaveri Bazaar in Mum­bai to Kar­nataka, said Sha­haji Umap, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (zone I). “Altaf, who is Kazia’s friend, knew about it. He also told his friend Af­sar about the trade. Af­sar knew Uday and told him about the huge sums of money that Kazia reg­u­larly car­ried. He so­licited his help to loot Kazia,” added Umap.

Ac­cord­ing to Umap, “Uday in­tro­duced Af­sar to his broth­ers Lax­man and Kam­raj and the three po­lice­men at Trom­bay, whom they knew and to­gether they hatched a plan to loot him and share the booty.”

“When Kazia came to Mum­bai on De­cem­ber 18, Altaf in­formed Af­sar, who then alerted his ac­com­plices and fol­lowed Kazia to Mum­bai. On De­cem­ber 19, Af­sar, Uday and his broth­ers trailed him in a rented taxi to Bhendi Bazaar where he went to book his ticket. Kazia then boarded a bus to Mahim to get the money. When Kazia left Mahim around noon in a taxi, the three ac­cused broth­ers fol­lowed him till Chem­bur, where he was to board a bus to Kar­nataka. Kazia then boarded the bus near Di­a­mond Gar­den at Chem­bur. Kam­raj and Raje boarded the bus as well,” said Umap.

Mean­while, Khairnar and San­dan­shiv were wait­ing in a Scor­pio ve­hi­cle be­ing driven by Koli ahead of the Vashi toll naka. As the bus reached the spot, Raje and Kam­raj went over to the bus driver and asked him to stop the bus telling him that they are from the crime branch and that a pas­sen­ger had to be in­ter­ro­gated, added Umap.

“Khairnar and San­dan­shiv then got Kazia out of the bus and the three po­lice­men and Koli took him in Scor­pio. They moved around in the ve­hi­cle for around 2 hours and fi­nally halted in Uran,” he said, adding, “There they cov­ered the ve­hi­cle’s num­ber plate with a sticker, snatched the bag con­tain­ing Rs1 crore and threw him out of the ve­hi­cle be­fore flee­ing from the spot.”

“The com­plainant had given us some names that the ac­cused had used and also in­formed that they were po­lice­men. We then used tech­nol­ogy and our in­form­ers to zero in on Khairnar who was held first. The rest were then caught on the ba­sis of the in­for­ma­tion we got,” said Umap.

Se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor Ajay Landge of Vashi po­lice sta­tion said, “We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing if the ac­cused were in­volved in sim­i­lar crimes in the past.”

The Vashi po­lice with the 48 lakh they re­cov­ered from the ar­rested ac­cused. BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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