The crime branch of Mumbai police has applied for the custody of two inmates of Nashik central jail who allegedly made extortion calls to a city-based corporator. Sachin Khambe and Sachin Shette, both serving sentences at the jail, allegedly made the calls to Vakola corporator and developer Brian Miranda over the past month.
A senior crime branch officer said, “Since both Khambe and Shette are convicts, as per procedure, we have to take the government’s permission to get their custody. We have written to the concerned authorities for permission.”
An officer from the police’s anti-extortion cell (AEC), which registered a case against the duo on May 8, said that while Khambe was initially affiliated to gangster Abu Salem’s gang, Shette was linked to the Bunty Padney gang. “Though the two have a previous record of extortion, this is the first time they have come together and tried to extort money after meeting at Nashik jail,” said an officer on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“At present, we cannot investigate much as they are still in Nashik jail. We are expecting to get their custody within a week, following which other details like who else is involved should come to the fore,” said an officer. The crime branch suspects the involvement of a few more people who may have tipped the accused about Miranda.
The AEC will also be checking if the call was actually made from within the prison or if someone else made the call on behalf of the accused.
Staff ensures inmates get what they want Mumbai: Convicts maintaining contact with the outside world is not new and there have been instances of officials finding mobile phones and SIM cards during surprise checks within jail premises this year itself.
A jail official said that in spite of jail security guards frisking everyone, including the staff, entering and leaving the prison premises, inmates manage to smuggle in goods they require with ease.
It is unlikely that the accused get things without some help from the lower-rung jail staff, who are well- versed with the internal security,” said a former jail official.
This year, police have found SIM cards in Taloja jail and mobile phones in Kalyan jail during surprise checks.
In January, the Bazarpeth police arrested two persons for throwing packets of drugs into Adharwadi jail, suspected to be on the orders of
some of the prisoners lodged there.
There have also been instances of extortion calls being made at the behest of prisoners. In November 2011, one Vijay Babar, arrested for making extortion calls to a trader, had told police that DK Rao, a Chhota Rajan aide, who was lodged at Taloja prison, had asked him to make the calls when he went to meet him.
A jail official said, “On several occasions, convicts met their cronies while appearing for court hearings.”
He added, “The only way out is to conduct regular surprise checks. Also, installing CCTV cameras inside jail premises will go a long way in helping the authorities keep tabs on prisoners.”