2 in net for making extortion calls for Rs 60 lakh

A 40-year-old father to eight girls is among two men arrested for making extortion calls to a cloth merchant in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar area.

But the alleged mastermind who was actually speaking into the phone during the extortion calls continues to be on the run, said police.

The accused had taken advantage of the apprehension in the minds of local shopkeepers and businessmen following the recent Utkarsh kidnapping-cum-murder case, police in a release on Friday.

The extortionists raised the amount demanded from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 60 lakh as soon as the victim filed a police complaint, apparently to keep him away from the police.

Even as Manik Nindwani was receiving threatening phone calls, the arrested men, Sushil Kumar and Naeem, were monitoring his activities.

They extended their sympathies and offered all possible help to Nindwani.
They even said they were willing to risk their lives and confront the extortionist at the first opportunity.

“Sushil even accompanied the accused to the police station to keep a tab about the action being taken by police,” said police.

Nindwani received the first extortion call on December 3. He was told to deliver Rs 5 lakh at Gurgaon toll tax plaza.

Ransom increased
More calls followed over the next four days after which the victim decided to approach police. The ransom amount was immediately raised to Rs 60 lakh.

Police, meanwhile, learnt on Thursday that two persons involved in this crime would be arriving at Akshardham Mandir. A trap was laid and Sushil and Naeem were arrested.

Both were found to be transport agents who colleced parcels from shopkeepers and booked them with transport companies for different destinations, police said.

They spend considerable time outside the victim’s shop and were friendly with him.
“During their interactions with Nindwani, they realised that he was traumatised by the Utkarsh kidnapping-cum-murder case as he would keep raising this topic during discussions. They decided to take advantage of the fear psychosis,” said police.

Accomplice on the run
The two had roped in another transport agent Sanjay to make the phone calls to the victim. Sanjay continues to be on the run.

Utkarsh, a 13-year-old boy from the same area, had been killed a few weeks ago after his jeweller father failed to pay a ransom amount of Rs 1 crore.

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