Maharashtra IAS officer Mopalwar suspended over tapes that may have been fake: Police
Police suspect that the accused used several editing softwares to make these fake these clipsmumbai Updated: Nov 04, 2017 00:46 IST
The Thane anti-extortion cell caught a couple trying to extort Rs7 crore from IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar, who was suspended after audio clips of him asking for bribes went viral. Police now suspect that the couple used several editing softwares to fake these clips.
The accused, Satish Mangale, 27, is a private detective whose help Mopalwar had sought while he was divorcing his second wife in 2012.
“In 2015, a police officer who was close to Mopalwar told him he could use a private detective to gather evidence against his wife. Satish was hired, but he started recording Mopalwar and his wife without their knowledge. He would splice together their conversations to turn them against each other. His actions led to resentment between Mopalwar and his wife,” said Pradeep Sharma, senior police inspector, Thane anti-extortion cell.
Satish was caught accepting Rs1 crore at his rented apartment at River View, Nilje in Dombivli on Thursday. His wife Shraddha, 26, is a former Marathi movie actress. She was arrested from Mira Road on Friday morning.
Police said the couple had been working as private detectives for the past four years. They suspect that the Mangales have extorted money from other clients.
Police also seized two laptops, five mobile phones, four pen drives, 15 CDs, and many letterheads bearing different names. “Satish has completed his SSC and had enrolled in a diploma course to study computers. However, he failed to complete the course . He was arrested earlier for recording senior officers at the Bandra police station, where an extortion case has been registered against him. He was also booked in connection with a rape case at Mira Road,” said Thane police commissioner Pram Bir Singh.
“We have seized his software and have asked technical experts to help us ascertain what the original contents of the clips were. The couple had demanded Rs 10 crore from Mopalwar, but settled for Rs 7 crore,” he said.
The couple was produced in court and remanded in police custody till November 8. Police are now on the hunt for the couple’s colleagues.
On October 23, Satish, Shraddha and their friend Anil Vedmehta telephoned Kling Mishra — one of Mopalwar’s aides — and told him to demand Rs10 crore from Mopalwar, saying they would will kill him and his daughter if he did not comply.
“Satish had three drop boxes’ worth of recordings. While working for Mopalwar, he would record his personal chats, tamper with them and then save them,” said Sharma.
‘Accused recorded Mopalwar’s private chats’
Private detective Satish Mangale had recorded more than 3,000 of Mopalwar’s calls. He also recorded his private chats.
Police said Satish had seven email accounts, which he used to store the recordings.
Satish paid a man Rs 2 lakh to certify the recordings as genuine.
He confessed and told police he would have used the money to make CDs of the faked conversations and distribute them to media houses
Police also found that Satish had hired around 5,000 people to stage protests against Mopalwar and paid them Rs 20 lakh for their participation