Pune: Kidnapping For Cryptocurrency Worth Rs 300 Crore, Pimpri Chinchwad Policeman Among 8 Arrested

Pune: Kidnapping For Cryptocurrency Worth Rs 300 Crore, Pimpri Chinchwad Policeman Among 8 Arrested
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Mubarak Ansari

Pimpri Chinchwad, 1st February 2022: The sleuths from the Wakad police station under Pimpri Chinchwad police have arrested eight persons including a policeman for allegedly abducting a man to extort cryptocurrency worth Rs 300 crore.

The policeman who was earlier caught taking a briber of Rs 10,000 in 2019, had reportedly learnt that the man who is engaged in share market trading had amassed cryptocurrency when he was posted with the cyber crime cell of Pune city police.

While addressing a press conference today, Pimpri Chinchwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash said that the accused had abducted the share trader Vinay Sundarrao Naik of Tathawade from Hotel Samadhan in Tathawade on January 14. However, the kidnappers released him later in Wakad as the accused policeman, constable Dilip Tukaram Khandare, had got wind of Wakad police trying to trace the accused.

“A total of eight accused have been arrested along with the mastermind ie accused police constable. During interrogation, constable Khandare told us that while working with Pune cyber crime cell he had learnt that the Naik has cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) worth Rs 300 crore. He hatched the conspiracy with others and kidnapped the businessman”, the city police chief informed.

On January 14, Rafiq Alauddin Syed (38) had lodged a complaint with Wakad police station stating that his friend Naik was abducted by 7-8 persons in a car. An FIR was registered and the investigation began as per the direction of Senior Police Inspector Dr Vivek Muglikar, in-charge of Wakad police station.

The police team started tracking down the accused on the basis of technical analysis of the mobile phone location as well as CCTV cameras footage. When the accused learnt that police were trailing them, they dropped back Naik in Wakad. Naik told police that he was kidnapped by eight persons for Bitcoin and Rs eight lakh.

Based on details from Naik, police arrested four persons from Mumbai who have been identified as Sunil Ram Shinde (49), Vasant Shyamrao Chavan (47), Francis Timothy D’Souza (50) and Mayur Mahendra Shirke (35) and also seized a car which was used in the crime. They had taken Naik to a secluded place in Alibag, Koparwadi Marg, Jalpada in Raigad district.

Inspector Muglikar said, “The arrested accused named their accomplices Pradip Kashinath Kate, Dilip Tukaram Khandare, Sanjay alias Nico Rajesh Bansal, Shirish Chandrakant Khot. They told us that accused Khandare had planned the crime.”

Who is Dilip Khandare?
While investigating the background of Dilip Tukaram Khandare, it came to light that he was working as a police constable at the police headquarters of Pimpri Chinchwad Police Commissionerate and was currently absent from duty. He was arrested by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in 2019 while accepting Rs 10,000 bribe when he was posted at the Chikhali police station.

He was earlier posted with the cybercrime cell of Pune city police where he had undergone courses like Crime Investigation Technology, Basic of Hardware and Network Information, Mobile Forensics.

“We arrested Khandare from Bhosari. During interrogation, he told us that during his stint with Pune police, he came to know that Naik had Bitcoin cryptocurrency worth Rs 300 crore. He decided to kidnap Naik and extort the money”, said Anand Bhoite, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 2).

Police had arrested other accused Pradip Kashinath Kate of Dapodi, Shirish Chandrakant Khot, Sanjay alias Nikki Rajesh Bansal, both residents of Navi Mumbai, Dilip Tukaram Khandare of Bhosari, from Hotel Ranjai in Hinjawadi.

The investigation team included Assistant Commissioner of Police (Wakad Division) Shrikant Disle, Police Inspectors (crime) Santosh Patil, Ramchandra Ghadge, Assistant Police Inspector Santosh Patil, Abhijeet Jadhav, PSI Ganesh Torgal, ASI Rajendra Kale, Bibhishan Kanherkar, Babajan Inamdar, police personnel Bapusaheb Dhumal, Vikram Kudal, Vijay Gambhire, Deepak Sable, Vandu Gire, Atish Jadhav, Pramod Kadam, Atiq Sheikh, Prashant Gilbile, Vikrant Chavan, Kalpesh Patil, Kotenya Kharade, Ajay Falle and Nutan Konde.




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