Police officers win FICCI award

Two Crime Branch officers busted cases of drug peddling, fraud

Published - September 28, 2019 01:04 am IST - Mumbai

Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur honours senior police inspector Sunil Mane.

Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur honours senior police inspector Sunil Mane.

Two officers with the Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Thursday received FICCI Awards for Recognition of Distinguished Service in the Anti Smuggling and Anti Counterfeiting category.

The first officer to win the award was senior police inspector Sunil Mane, in charge of the Crime Branch Unit X, whose information busted a drug racket run by Indian Police Service officer Saji Mohan in 2009.

Mr. Mane was posted with the Juhu unit of the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad when he received a tip on January 17, 2009, about two men carrying drugs through Oshiwara in Andheri. Mr. Mane, along with his team, picked up Vicky Oberoi and Rajesh Khushiram with 1.85 kg of heroin. The two then confessed that they were working for Mohan, who at the time was posted as deputy director with the Narcotics Control Bureau.

Mr. Mane said, “The first and biggest challenge was arresting an officer as senior as Mohan. We took every step after consulting our superiors as the matter was very sensitive and we knew that being an NCB officer, he knew all the ways and means we would employ. When we did finally pick him up, the first thing he did was to demand to see our superiors.”

Mr. Mane’s superiors also refused to entertain Mohan, who was found to be in possession of 12 kg of heroin. After interrogation, the police seized another 25 kg of heroin from a godown in Vasai, Thane. The battle had only just begun.

“The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act is very strict, and the conviction rate is low. We had to ensure that every procedure was followed by the rule book so that the case did not suffer. Mr. Oberoi turning approver in the case also provided a huge boost and helped in securing the conviction,” said Mr. Mane.

The other officer, assistant police inspector Wahid Pathan, in 2018 solved a case of fraud, wherein a 25-year-old Bengaluru resident allegedly cheated a Mumbai resident of ₹40 lakh by posing as actor Divya Khosla. The accused, Prajwal Gopalkrishna, posed as Ms. Khosla on Facebook and befriended the complainant and convinced him to “invest in a movie”.

Mr. Pathan, using cellular location mapping and consistent enquiries in Bengaluru, arrested the accused and recovered ₹31 lakh from him.

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