However, the trio was apprehended after they accepted the first installment itself.
Mumbai: The Thane police has arrested three persons, including a woman, for allegedly extorting Rs 25 lakh from a local BJP corporator in return for helping him become a MLC.
Acting on a complaint filed by BJP corporator, Manohar Dumbre, a trap was laid at a hotel on Tuesday and the trio was arrested and the money recovered from them. The accused – identified as Anad Shirgaonkar (29), Anilkumar Bhanushali (31), and Abdulla Ansari (24) – have no political affiliations whatsoever however they came in contact with Mr Dumbre and promised him a MLC berth.
Mukund Hatote, assistant commissioner of police, crime, said, “We have also found fake identity cards in the accuseds’ possession. They convinced Mr Dumbre that they had spoken to the chief minister and Rs 10 crore was decided as the total amount to be paid for the MLC berth.” However, the trio was apprehended after they accepted the first installment itself.
Mr Dumbre had received a phone call from the woman on March 4 stating that she could help him become a MLC. The accused claimed to be well-connected with senior politicians. Of the three, Ansari, who works in a garage, is good at mimicking the voices of famous personalities, which is why he was entrusted to pose as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Accordingly, a mock call was arranged and Mr Dumbre was assured of an opportunity to meet Mr Fadnavis at his official residence. Subsequently, the trio asked Mr Dumbre to meet them at a hotel on Ghodbunder Road where money exchanged hands. However, the police called their bluff and apprehended them
Mr Hatote said, “We are still in the process of probing if these identity cards were used to dupe anybody else.”