Waze collected money for Param Bir Singh, says charge sheet in extortion case

  • | Saturday | 4th December, 2021

Mumbai, Dec 4 (PTI) Dismissed police official Sachin Waze referred to former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh as "number 1" and extorted money on his behalf, city police has claimed in its charge sheet in an extortion case. It also alleged that as per Waze, 75 per cent of the extortion proceeds would go to Singh and he would pocket the rest. The Mumbai police"s crime branch on Saturday filed a charge sheet against Singh, Waze and two others in an extortion case registered at the suburban Goregaon police station. The over 400 pages charge sheet was filed before chief metropolitan magistrate S B Bhajipale. This is the first charge sheet filed against Singh, a senior IPS officer who has been named in at least five extortion cases in Maharashtra and who was suspended earlier this week. Of other accused, Sumit Singh and Alpesh Patel are out on bail while Vinayak Singh and Riyaz Bhatti have been shown as wanted accused. All the accused have been charged under IPC sections related to extortion, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy, among other offenses. The charge sheet came two days before the interim protection from arrest granted by the Supreme Court to Param Bir Singh ends. Waze, a former assistant inspector, is currently in judicial custody after being arrested by the NIA for his alleged role in planting an SUV with explosives near industrialist Mukesh Ambani"s residence here and the subsequent murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran. When asked about the sanction to prosecute Param Bir Singh (as he is a government official), special prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap told the court that sanction was not required as the offence was not committed `in the line of duty". As per the charge sheet, three or four witnesses confirmed that Waze would refer to Singh "number 1" and say that `number 1 has demanded the money". At the time of the commission of the crime, Param Bir Singh was Mumbai police commissioner and he had made Waze head of the Crime Intelligence Unit in the crime branch even though he was only an assistant police inspector, it said. Waze was asked to probe major high-profile cases. He would meet the city police chief directly and discuss important cases, all of which showed he was close to Singh, the charge sheet said. Singh, through Waze and other accused, used to demand money from cricket bookies as well as hotel and bar owners by threatening them of arrest and raids on their establishments, the charge sheet alleged. As per complainant Bimal Agarwal, the accused extorted Rs 9 lakh from him for not conducting raids 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 between January 2020 and March 2021. As per the statement of Manan Nayak, a witness, he learnt that his name was being dragged in a case related to a cricket bookie. He told this to Bimal Agarwal, the complainant in the case. Agarwal then spoke to Waze, who said he was under pressure from Param Bir Singh or "CP Saheb", and Nayak had to be arrested, or Rs two crore must be paid. Later, the amount was allegedly negotiated down to Rs 35 lakh. Nayak claimed that he paid the amount to Alpesh Patel in October 2020, and Patel informed Waze on WhatsApp about the payment. PTI AVI DC NP KRK KRK

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