Jeetu Navlani names West Bengal DGP, ADG in extortion complaint
Businessman Jeetu Navlani has named the director general of police (DGP) and the additional director general of police (ADGP) of West Bengal in an extortion case registered based on his complaint
Businessman Jeetu Navlani has named the director general of police (DGP) and the additional director general of police (ADGP) of West Bengal in an extortion case registered based on his complaint.
Navlani on Monday approached Worli police, alleging that three WB police officers allegedly extorted money from him after getting his wife detained at Mumbai airport and threatening to arrest the couple on money-laundering charges. The three have been identified as Rajarshi Banerjee, Sumit Banerjee, and Sudip Dasgupta.
The Worli police, however, said they are still verifying his claims.
Navlani, a close aide of former city police commissioner Parambir Singh, owns Durty Buns pub in south Mumbai. He was accused by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut of running an extortion racket using his connection with some Enforcement Directorate officials.
In his complaint, Navlani said his wife Bhumika on her return from Dubai was detained at the city airport in the evening of July 24 as the Kolkata police had issued a lookout circular in her name.
Kolkata CID officer Rajarshi Banerjee flew to Mumbai the next day and took her to Sahar police station. Navlani’s brother-in-law Karim Dhanani had to rush to assist Bhumika, he said.
“Rajarshi then threatened to arrest Bhumika, take her to Kolkata, and ensure that she did not come out of the jail alive. He demanded ₹10 crore if they wanted the police to go soft on Bhumika,” the complaint said.
Rajarshi then connected his senior officer to Navlani over a conference call and the officer confirmed the demand of ₹10 crore. This senior officer then told Navlani that the money would be collected in Nepal and asked Rajarshi to release Bhumika on bail, he said.
On June 7, Rajarshi came to Mumbai, and on behalf of Navlani met his friend Gaurav Sehgal at Sea Lord Hotel in Worli and informed him that all these things (the extortion) were being done on the instructions of the DGP and the ADGP-rank officers of the West Bengal police and also a political leader, the FIR said.
Rajarshi took ₹1 lakh each at the Worli hotel and at Hotel Taj in Kolkata from Sehgal.
Since Rajarshi did not give any details of the case against Bhumika, and also illegally kept her passport with him, Navlani started his own inquiry. He found out that on May 11, 2022 one Rajib Dey along with three others were caught by Raniganj police in WB during nakabandi and ₹3 crore was seized from their vehicle.
Navlani alleged in his statement to the police that Sudip Dasgupta, who was then the in-charge of Raniganj police station, allegedly misguided the chief magistrate that the said money belonged to Navlani’s Bonanza Fashion Merchants Private Limited. Bhumika is also a director in the company.
The police pressured Arunav Adhikari, whose place was being used by Navlanis for their company’s office, he said. “The police managed to show that the seized money belonged to Bonanza Fashion Merchants Private Limited and was linked to money laundering, and registered a case against Navlani and his wife.”
Adhikari in May 2022 approached the Kolkata high court seeking to quash the police case. Later, Dey also approached the chief judicial magistrate in Asansol and claimed that the seized money belonged to his company Suryajyoti Poultry Private Limited, and Bonanza Fashion Merchants Private Limited and its directors had nothing to do with it.
Despite this, Rajarshi had in July and August allegedly extorted ₹10 lakh from Karim Dhanani at Nariman Point and ₹8 lakh was collected by a person on behalf of the investigating officer Sumit Banerjee, the FIR said.
The businessman claimed that since he was abroad, and later underwent a surgery after returning to India, the complaint was filed late.