A 17-year-old (who cannot be named as he is legally a minor) and his five cronies were caught by the police for extorting money from Class 9 students of St Xavier’s School in Vikh-roli.
His five accomplices were all students of the same school and worked as informers.
On Saturday afternoon, the Vikhroli Parksite police were surprised by a visit from the parents of a Class 9 student who wanted to file an extortion complaint against a 17-year-old boy.
The boy was caught and brought to the police station where he told police that he had five friends studying in Class 9 at the school who regularly tipped him off about students in their class who came from wealthy families.
Explaining how the teen operated, an officer from Parksite police station, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media said, “The boy would ask his friends at St Xavier’s school to introduce him to classmates who came from wealthy families. After a period of time, the boy would start harassing the students for money. If they refused to pay up, the teen would threaten to bash them up.”
Police inspector Sunil Bhosle from Parksite police station said, “The parents of one of the students approached us last week claiming that this 17-year-old boy was harassing their son for money. We then questioned the teenager and found that the allegations were true.”
“We have registered a case of extortion and arrested him,” Bhosle added.
Sub-inspector Raju Shirke from the Parksite police station said, “On questioning him further, we found that he had studied till Class 10 and was employed at a mall. He had friends at the school who would suggest probable victims. He would then ask the victims to give him Rs 1,000 or Rs 2,000 in cash and threaten them with bodily harm if they refused. He used the money to socialise with friends.”
An officer added that this had been going on for the past three to four months, but only one student has complained so far.
The 17-year-old who has been sent to the Dongri children’s home lives in the Navy Colony building at Kanjurmarg with his mother and maternal uncle.