Mumbai: Mumbai's top cop Arup Patnaik's spree of raids carried out by the special squad gave one man an innovative idea of duping people. Dressing up as a police official, the impostor used to extort money from businessmen and would have continued to do so till yesterday when his luck ran out.
Arvind Sawant (50) and four of his accomplices taking inspiration from real life raids barged into the office of Vinod Kumar at Bhuleshwar on Thursday evening. They told Kumar they were under the jurisdiction of LT Marg. In an attempt to scare Kumar, Sawant and his colleagues told him that they had traced hawala links with a terrorist whom they had arrested. They had forensic evidence including computer printouts linking him to the web of terror. Sawant told Kumar the only way to get out of this would be to pay them Rs 20 lakh.
Meanwhile, the LT Marg police were tipped off of a raid being carried out by the special squad in their jurisdiction. They rushed to the spot and found a car with a red light. Surprisingly, Sawant did not drop the act and claimed that he was from the special squad.
Senior Inspector Avinash Sonawane from the LT Marg told MiD DAY that a search of Sawant revealed he was carrying an identity card of Press National News and the car had a poster of 'Mumbai Police Alert Citizen' affixed to it.
Sawant has been booked on charges of extortion and impersonation and a metropolitan magistrate has remanded him to police custody till May 11. A official on the condition of anonymity revealed that Sawant was inspired by the special squad and wanted to take advantage of the situation.
The police suspect Sawant was involved in similar offences carried out over the last few weeks. Initial investigations also indicated that Sawant was one of the suspects named in the murder of his wife in 2001 at Matunga. The court later acquitted him.