Ethical hacker who claimed Eknath Khadse-Dawood Ibrahim link arrested for forgery
Manish Bhangale, an “ethical hacker” from Vadodara, was on Thursday arrested by the Mumbai crime branch’s cyber police for allegedly forging documents he used last year to claim a link between BJP leader Eknath Khadse and wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
He was arrested and produced before the Esplanade court on Friday and remanded in police custody till April 6 for further probe.
“Some of the papers were forged using computers and some were done manually. Bhangale used the documents to claim phone calls were made between the minister and Dawood,” said a crime branch official. Joint commissioner of police, crime, Sanjay Saxena confirmed the development to HT.
In May 2016, Bhangale claimed to have hacked phone calls between Dawood and Khadse. He said he hacked into the authentication process of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd in April 2016, which gave him access to Dawood’s telephone records. The accused forged emails and telephone bills to damage Khadse’s image in the public, states a press note issued by the Cyber police station
Bhangale then filed a petition in the Bombay HC asking for a CBI probe against Khadse. He also asked for protection, saying he was receiving death threats. In the petition, Bhangale said he tried to get in touch with the Prime Minister’s office and the office of National Security Advisor, but in vain.
“After the media broke the news, I was approached by the Mumbai police’s crime branch, which took all the information from me but, till date, there has been no case registered or action taken,” the petition read. Bhangale said in the plea he feared all the information he provided to the police may be sabotaged.
The HC at the time had said there was no urgency for a vacation bench to hear the petition.
On Thursday, deputy commissioner of police, cyber, Akhileshkumar Singh told HT Bhangale was charged under section 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC and 66D (punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act.
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