Software firm employee who blew up money in the share market poses as gangster Ravi Pujari to make extortion calls
By Vinay Dalvi /MUMBAI MIRROR
Posted On Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 05:21:41 AM
When 29-year-old Anand Apparao Dengale lost money he had borrowed from his father in the share market, he decided to go down a dangerous path to make up for his poor financial judgement.
Over the last two months, the senior sales executive with a Koparkhairane software firm called several builders and businessmen across Mumbai identifying himself as gangster Ravi Pujari, and telling them that he would spare their lives in exchange for money.
Aanad Dengale, 29, being taken to court by an Anti-Extortion Cell officer on Monday
According to Rakesh Maria, the chief of the Mumbai Crime Branch, a Zaveri Bazaar businessman received the first call in February. “Pujari baat kar raha hoon. Family ko safe rakhna chahte ho toh company ko 50 lakh dena nahi to family disturb kar dalunga. (This is Pujari speaking. If you want to keep your family safe, pay the company Rs 50 lakh),” the caller said.
Maria told Mumbai Mirror that Dengale, who was arrested on Saturday, hailed from Latur and had moved to the city only a few years ago. “He has a diploma in electrical engineering and communications, and works as a senior sales executive with a software firm. He’d borrowed Rs 2 lakh from his father, who is a retired Railways employee, but blew it up in the share market. He didn’t have the courage to admit this to his father, and came up with this plan.”
When the Zaveri Bazaar businessman expressed his inability to pay Rs 50 lakh, Dengale started negotiating with him over the next few weeks. During this regular exchange of phone calls, the businessman sensed that something was not right and complained to the Crime Branch.
Sleuths from the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) took charge and asked the businessman agree to a figure of Rs 8 lakh. Finally, on Saturday, Dengale called the businessman to a location in Vashi to collect the payment, only to be picked up by AEC sleuths who had set a trap there.
According to sources in the Crime Branch, Dengale had visited the victim’s shop a year ago. Since he had the businessman’s card in his wallet, he called him first. “Dengale had been reading Pujari’s name in the papers often and thought he was a big gangster who everyone feared. That’s why he took his name,” an AEC officer said.
During interrogation, police learnt that Dangale had also called several builders. “After seeing the Zaveri Bazaar businessman was ready to pay up, Dengale got greedy. Using the internet, he collected information and contact numbers of various builders and threatened them as well,” the officer added.
“Although Dengale does not have a criminal record, we’re checking if he has cheated anyone this way in the past,” said PI Nitin Alakhnoore.