Mumbai Local

Deputy Superintendent demands bribe from ‘drug queen’, arrested

Deepak Humbare  

The Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau on Saturday arrested a Deputy Superintendent of Police for allegedly demanding a bribe from a woman accused in a high profile drug case last year.

The woman, a 50-year-old Mumbai resident, hit the headlines in 2015 after a constable with the Mumbai Police was arrested by the Satara police for possession of 114 kilograms of a substance suspected to be mephedrone, which was seized from his Khandala residence. A further stash of 12 kg of the same substance was found in the constable’s locker at his workplace, and inquiries indicated that the supposed drugs had been supplied by the woman. She was, at the time, alleged to be a major supplier of mephedrone in the city. The police went on to arrest her a month later and five more policemen were arrested for ‘having links’ with her.

The case, however, fell flat after the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Kalina submitted a report saying that the substance seized by the police was not mephedrone, but mono sodium glutamate, also known as ajinomoto.

The police then sent samples for retesting to the Central FSL in Hyderabad, and the CFSL, too, confirmed the Kalina FSL’s report, after which the woman filed an application in the Sessions Court in Satara seeking that she be discharged from the case.

According to ACB officials, DySP Deepak Humbare with the Wai division of the Satara police demanded Rs 5 lakh from the woman in exchange for submitting a report in the Satara Sessions Court favourable to her discharge from the case. The woman then approached the ACB, and the agency initiated inquiries. During subsequent interactions between Humbare and the woman, which were being monitored by the ACB, he allegedly told her to hand over the bribe money to a civilian identified as Yuvraj Dhamal. The ACB then laid a trap. “As the complainant was able to put together only Rs 1 lakh, we hid dummy currency notes under the real ones in a bag to give the impression that it contained Rs 5 lakh. The woman handed over the bag to Dhamal in a pre-decided location on Satara Road in Khandala, after which we arrested Dhamal. As we had recordings of conversations in which Humbare had clearly stated that Dhamal would be accepting the money on his behalf, we arrested him as well,” said an ACB officer.

Both Humbare and Dhamal have been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the ACB is conducting searches at their residences.

In April last year, while in the custody of the Mumbai Police, the woman had alleged in court that Humbare had visited her in the lock-up and verbally abused her, using vulgar words and gestures, saying that she was responsible for ruining the image of the police. The court had, at the time, issued instructions that no one apart from Mumbai Police officials be allowed to interrogate her in the lock-up.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 4:15:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/deputy-superintendent-demands-bribe-from-drug-queen-arrested/article8572316.ece

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