The police arrested three men who posed as Crime Branch officials and accused an 18-year-old college student of smuggling tortoises and stealing logos of imported cars.
They allegedly kidnapped the teenager and demanded Rs 10 lakh to drop the “charges”.
On Monday, the Kandivli police arrested Umesh Khobragade (25), a mechanic, Sarfaraz Sheikh (25), who is employed in a private firm and Touseef Kharojia (21), a driver, and booked them on charges of kidnap, extortion and impersonation.
One of their accomplices, Shyam Sunder Singh, is at large, said Senior Inspector Suryakant Ghatge.
On Sunday, the men allegedly called up Akshay Wagh, a student of Saili Junior College in Borivli, and accused him of stealing car logos and smuggling tortoises.
“I denied the charges. But they claimed they were Crime Branch officers and threatened to take action against me. They asked me to meet them at Laljipada in Kandivli (West),” Wagh told the police.
When the teenager reached the spot, the three men pushed him into a Qualis and drove him to Meat chowky in Malad (West).
“They demanded Rs 10 lakh from Wagh for not taking action against him,” said Ramrao Pawar, additional commissioner of police, North Region.
Wagh told them that he did not have that kind of money and said he could only pay Rs 2 lakh.
“On Wagh’s request to arrange for the money, they let him go. He approached the police,” said Pawar.
“On Monday afternoon, Wagh told the men that he had arranged for Rs 50,000 and asked them to meet him at Meat Chowky, where the police had laid a trap,” added Pawar.
The three men was caught when the money exchanged hands.
While Khobragade has a criminal record, the police are checking the records of the other two men.