Sweets shop owner gets extortion call seeking ₹5 lakh, FIR filed
The police booked an unidentified person for allegedly making an extortion call to a 42-year-old owner of a sweets shop in Sector 38 on Friday. According to the police, the suspect identified himself as a sarpanch and demanded ₹5 lakh as protection money.
The shop owner, Amar Singh, received the extortion call around 11 am on Wednesday, said Shamsher Singh, assistant commissioner of police (crime). “The suspect generated an international phone number through the internet to make WhatsApp calls to the victim. We have not ruled out the involvement of Sube Singh, a close aide of gangster Kaushal, who is absconding and has been booked in similar cases in the past,” ACP Singh said.
The police said they received a complaint on Thursday from Amar, a native of Rajasthan who is living in a rented accommodation in Bhondsi village for the past 10 years. The shop owner alleged that he received several WhatsApp calls on Wednesday from an unknown caller, who introduced himself as the sarpanch of ‘Badgujar’. The caller asked for ₹5 lakh as protection money and threatened him for life. The suspect also threatened to harm his family members if he approached the police. The duration of the first call was 15 seconds, said the police.
ACP Singh said they are trying to track the location of the phone number that was used to make calls. During preliminary investigation, it was found that the number was not based in India.
Amar said when he received the first call, he thought it was a prank. But the suspect repeatedly called him and he kept disconnecting. “The caller introduced himself as sarpanch of Badgujar. He told me that my shop was running well and I am making good money. He also said he would call me again to let me know where to deliver the money. Initially, I thought Badgujar is the name of some village, but that was not true. Locals told me that there was no such village in the district and Badgujar is a surname,” the shop owner said.
The suspect then sent three recorded audios of five minutes, two minutes and one minute duration, all within a span of 10 minutes, the police said.
A case was registered under sections 294 (obscene acts) 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Sadar police station.
The police said that they were also looking into the involvement of any insider and have questioned the shop owner’s staff.
In several past incidents of extortion involving traders and businessmen, members affiliated with notorious gangster Kaushal had been involved, the police said. In June, the police had arrested close aides and live-in partner of Kaushal for their alleged involvement in the extortion cases in Gurugram and Delhi-NCR. The police had received several complaints from businessmen and traders that Kaushal was threatening them and demanding protection money. The money collected by the gang members was sent to Kaushal through Hawala transactions, the police had stated.
Kaushal, the kingpin of the gang, is on the run and believed to be in Dubai, the police said. His gang has been active in Gurugram for over a decade.