Greed of earning a few extra bucks landed four men, including a businessman and a builder behind bars on Saturday.
Mohamed Rafiq Shaikh, Vishal Sawant, Penal Mistry and Amitabh Nalavade were arrested on charges of extortion and attempt to murder. Mistry is a Surat-based businessman, and Nalavade, a Nalasopara-based builder, is a common friend of Shaikh and Sawant.
Both Sawant and Shaikh were employed with the complainant Hanish Seth for sometime. According to the police, the plan was hatched after Mistry, who had incurred heavy losses in his business and came to Mumbai to meet his friend Shaikh, a resident of Andheri (West), in December.
Mistry asked Shaikh to join his plan to earn money so that he could revive his business. Shaikh agreed and the duo then went to Madhya Pradesh to purchase a weapon.
“They had decided that they would threaten and extort money from a wealthy person but had not zeroed on the target. In the first week of January, Sawant, during a casual discussion, mentioned that his former employer Seth had recently sold off a property for which he received a lot of money,” said KMM Prasanna, deputy commissioner of police (zone 9).
The gang had by then decided they would target Seth. As part of their plan, Shaikh went to Seth’s residence located on SV Road in Juhu in the second week of January and fired a round. “Shaikh went to Seth’s residence and on finding that neither he or his son was present, he fired a shot to scare his wife. They then called him up over the next three days demanding a ransom of Rs50 lakh,” added Prasanna.
However, it was only when Seth told them that he was a small-time wholesale trader and did not have so much money that they realised how they had landed into trouble. They went into hiding to escape police action.
The Juhu police registered a case of attempted murder and extortion against them and they have been remanded to police custody till February 15.