An undertrial lodged at the Arthur Road prison thought he had come up with a fool-proof way to smuggle lakhs of rupees into jail – by concealing it in the soles of his slippers. But the ploy was apparently not smart enough for two alert security guards at the prison, who caught him in the act on finding his slippers to be thicker than usual.
Mehendi Shaikh, alias Bengali Baba, 39, was arrested in 2010 for allegedly raping seven girls of a south Mumbai family over several months.
On April 20, Shaikh left the prison to attend his hearing at the Sessions court. Upon his return, the guards found that his slippers appeared different from the ones he wore while leaving for the hearing. What further roused their suspicion was that the sole of the slippers was unusually thick. Shaikh was then asked to take off his footwear.
Confirming the incident, an official from the Arthur Road jail said, “The guards found stitches on the sole. When we opened them up, we found Rs1 lakh concealed in each slipper.”
Inspector General (prisons) Vinod Lokhande said, “Since it was not contraband material a case cannot be registered.” The jail officials have informed the court about the incident and seized the money. Shaikh told jail authorities that his aunt had given him the slippers, an official said. He also claimed that he wanted to use the money to pay his lawyer, but officials are yet to verify his claims.