2 Delhi Police constables arrested for running extortion racket
Two Delhi Police constables have been arrested for allegedly running an extortion racket with the help of a civilian, who is still absconding, senior police officers said on Tuesday. Two cases of kidnapping and extortion, filed on the separate complaints of two businessmen from central Delhi, have been solved with their arrest, police said.
The constables, identified by their first names, Sumit and Pramod, were posted in the first battalion of Delhi Armed Police (DAP). Both of them were suspended and the procedure to dismiss them has been initiated, senior officers said. Searches are being conducted to nab the third suspect, identified as Manjeet. All three are from two villages near Kanjhawala in outer Delhi, said a senior police officer, who asked not to be named.
Explaining the modus operandi of the three men, the officer said they impersonated officials of the copyright and trademarks division and conducted fake searches at business establishments, factories and shops in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh.
“They used to apprehend the owner of the business establishment and make him sit in their car on the pretext that they were taking him to their office for further interrogation and investigation. After driving around the city for a while with the businessman, they would demand money to “settle the matter”. They would force the businessman to call him family and arrange the money for his release,” said the officer.
On August 27, a second police officer said the trio went to the shop of a jeans manufacturer, Ashok Kumar, on Tank Road near Karol Bagh, and identified themselves as officials from the trademarks division. They accused Kumar of manufacturing duplicate jeans of a prominent brand and told him that they had come to conduct a search after receiving a complaint. They then put Kumar in their i10 car.
“Inside the car, they demanded Kumar to give them ₹5 lakh to settle the matter and release him. After negotiations, they agreed to release him for ₹3 lakh. Kumar’s family members paid the amount after which they released him. Kumar later approached the Prasad Nagar police and filed a complaint. A case of kidnapping and extortion was registered and investigations were started,” the second officer said.
While the Prasad Nagar police were making efforts to identify and nab the suspects, a similar crime was reported at the Desh Bandhu Gupta (DBG) Road police station on September 3 by the owner of an automobile spare parts shop in Karol Bagh. The suspects extorted ₹4 lakh from the businessman’s family to release him.
Investigators said they scanned CCTV cameras installed at the shops and the routes that the suspects took. One footage helped the police spot the registration number of the i10 car that was used in the crimes. The car was found registered in the name of constable Sumit’s wife.
“We interrogated Sumit after the victims identified him as of one the suspects. After being confronted with the evidence, he admitted to the crime and led us to the other constable, Pramod,” the first officer said, adding that they are trying to find out if the suspects were involved in more such extortions.