BENGALURU: Three people, including a dismissed police constable and two habitual offenders, have been arrested by Banashankari police on the charges of extortion. The accused would pose as senior officials from the Lokayukta and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to extort money from senior government officials. The investigation revealed that several extortion calls were made from Karwar jail by one of the accused.
Those arrested are identified as Murugappa Ningappa Kumbar (51), a native of Belagavi, Abubakar (36) of Theerthahalli in Shivamogga district and Amar Singh (42) from Bihar.
The prime accused Kumbar served as civil police constable for 16 years in Belagavi and was dismissed after he had misused bus warrants given by the department for on-duty policemen.
A senior police officer said that on October 25, the accused contacted Prasanna Kumar, a BWSSB Assistant Executive Engineer in Hoskote Town to extort money and threatened that they will raid his residence. Kumar had approached Banashankari police to file a case. In his complaint, Kumar said the caller claimed to be DySP Purushottham from ACB and said he had received several complaints of corruption against Kumar. He said that the officers will raid his office and residence.
He then demanded money from the official and insisted to deposit `90,000 in a particular account number.
Kumar deposited the money, but on smelling a rat, he contacted the ACB to check the details of the officers. He then realised that he was cheated and subsequently city police were alerted.
Investigation revealed that the calls were made by Kumbar,who is currently in Karwar jail. He was contacted by Abubakar, who also made a conference call to the official. Abubakar was nabbed in Hubballi and on being grilled, he revealed Kumbar’s details. Amar Singh, who had collected the money was nabbed from Yeshwantpur later.
Kumbar befriended Abubakar and Amar Singh in jail. They hatched a plan to extort government officials including tahsildars, engineers, sub-registrars, secretaries to various departments and officials from RTO and Education departments by using similar modus-operandi.
Abubakar had purchased more than 10 SIM cards in the name of a woman, who is mentally unsound and lives in North Karnataka. He had also opened a bank account in her name and used an ATM card to withdraw money. The gang was involved in about 30 such cases across the state.