The accused harassed the victim by sending baseless complaints to various authorities.
Mumbai: Virar police has arrested five people including the female editor of a local weekly for an alleged extortion attempt targeting a building contractor.
Investigators have charged the accused, Laxmi Patel, editor of ‘Devi Pujak’, Ramesh More, Dhananjay Gawade, Nitin Patil, and Vivek Thakur alias Digambar with hatching a conspiracy to extort money from the builder.
The accused started harassing the victim by allegedly sending baseless complaints to the municipal corporation and other regulatory agencies in an attempt to pressure him to part with his money. They allegedly approached him offering to stop sending the complaints and withdraw those already lodged if he was paid them Rs25 lakh.
Police said that the accused used Patel’s publication for mounting pressure on the 48-year-old builder. The complainant said that all the accused persons had been harassing him and demanding money to stop the spree of complaints, according to the police. The harassment took place between August 2016 and April 2018, according to the builder.
“The builder had completed the construction of a building on a piece of land that he owned. The accused came to know about it and thought of making a quick buck by harassing him. The accused sent several complaints during the period to the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation,” said a police official.
Further, Patel allegedly published fake stories to defame him. The accused then approached him and threatened to harm his family if he dared to reveal about this to anybody, police said. Subsequently, the victim approached lodged a police complaint against them. The police carried out the arrests over the last two days.