Mumbai: Mumbai Police officer (now dismissed) Sachin Waze, along with then city police commissioner Param Bir Singh extorted huge money from cricket bookies by threatening them with arrest, police told a court here while seeking an extension of Waze’s custody in an extortion case registered at suburban Goregaon police station.
The Mumbai Police’s crime branch had taken Waze’s custody on November 1 based on the complaint filed by builder-cum-hotelier Bimal Agrawal, in which Param Bir Singh is also named as an accused.
Waze was produced before a holiday court on Saturday as his remand expired. Police sought an extension of his custody for seven days for further probe, which was allowed by the court till November 13. Police told the court that Waze and the wanted accused Param Bir Singh extorted a huge amount of money from cricket bookies by threatening them with arrest.
How this was done has to be investigated, the court was told. The crime branch further said they wanted to probe whether Waze took money from anyone else at the instance of Singh and who else, apart from Singh, helped Waze in extortion. The crime branch said it wanted to probe the trail of the extorted money. The crime branch also wants to probe how many other such offences have been committed by the accused. Waze is close to Param Bir Singh and the crime branch wants to question him on the current whereabouts of the senior IPS officer, it said, adding the complainant’s (Agrawal’s) voice samples have been sent for a forensic test and witness statements have been recorded.
Mobile phones given to Sachin Waze by the complainant as part of the extortion have also been seized, police said.
Agrawal had alleged that the accused extorted Rs 9 lakh from him for not conducting a raid on two bars and restaurants, which he ran in partnership, and also forced him to buy two smartphones worth around Rs 2.92 lakh for them.
The alleged incident occurred between January 2020 and March 2021, police had said.
One of the absconding accused, Alpesh Patel, was arrested from Mehsana railway station in Gujarat, the crime branch said.
Patel destroyed a mobile phone and a SIM card used during the offence. Hence, section 201 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been invoked on the ground that possible evidence in the offence has been destroyed, it said.
According to the crime branch, Waze has volunteered to give his voice sample while in custody which was recorded in the presence of two.
It told the court that Waze is not cooperating and giving evasive replies when questioned about the extorted money. He is not giving relevant information, the crime branch said.
Waze’s lawyer Rounak Naik said they agreed to (extension) of Waze’s custody as he ”volunteered” to cooperate with the probe agency.
Waze, 49, was in judicial custody after his arrest in March by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the ‘Antilia’ bomb scare and businessman Mansukh Hiran murder case.
On Agrawal’s complaint, a case was registered under Indian Penal Code sections 384 and 385 (both pertaining to extortion) and 34 (common intention) against the six accused including Waze, Singh, Sumit Singh alias Chintu, Alpesh Patel, Vinay Singh alias Babloo and Riyaz Bhati.