Police on lookout for 4 kidnappers of co-operative credit society chief

Satyanarayanrao Bhandari was let off after he paid ₹37 lakh

The Kamothe police are on the lookout for four unidentified men who had kidnapped the managing director of A.P. Mercantile Co-operative Credit Society Ltd. and kept him captive for a day at a farmhouse in Pune. They let him off only after he transferred ₹37.10 lakh to them.

Following the incident, the complainant, Satyanarayanrao Bhandari (44), went to his guest house in Nagpur and registered a case with the Ambazari police, which was transferred to the Kamothe police on Thursday. On February 12, Mr. Bhandari came to Mumbai for the opening of a branch office at Bhuleshwar and was in the city since then to oversee its marketing.

On March 6, Mr. Bhandari received a call from a person who identified himself as Ankit Jain. Mr. Jain told Mr. Bhandari that he wanted to deposit ₹5 crore in his bank but had no time to come to the branch office as he ran a cloth business in Kamothe. Mr. Jain asked Mr. Bhandari to visit him at his shop to discuss the procedure and the rate of interest. Mr. Bhandari, along with the branch manager Sayyed Mohiuddin, left for Kamothe by train as Mr. Jain suggested. At the railway station, a person who identified himself as Mr. Jain’s friend came to pick up Mr. Bhandari and asked Mr. Mohiuddin not to accompany them.

Two men, including the driver, were in the car and later, two more joined in. The men in the car snatched Mr. Bhandari’s phone, assaulted him and drove to a farmhouse in Pune.

The accused demanded a ransom of ₹1 crore. Mr. Bhandari said he did not have so much money, and that the money in his bank belonged to his clients. The accused checked his bank balance to verify his claim. They then confined Mr. Bhandari in a room, assaulted him and told him to ask someone from the bank to transfer the money by the next morning.

The next morning, Mr. Bhandari received a message regarding a deposit of ₹35 lakh into his account. The accused asked him to transfer the amount, as well as ₹2.10 lakh from his HDFC Bank account. Mr. Bhandari instructed Mr. Mohiuddin to transfer the amount to three different accounts in Pune, which the accused provided. He was dropped off at a bus stop at Pune highway by 4 p.m. on March 7, and given a ticket and ₹300 in cash. Mr. Bhandari reached Mumbai from there. On March 9, he left for Nagpur and registered a case there.

“The case was transferred to us on Thursday and we have not met the complainant yet. The Nagpur police informed us that he had received injuries and has gone to his hometown, Hyderabad, to rest. Meanwhile, we have started our investigation and are looking for the accused,” said senior police inspector Balasaheb Tupe from Kamothe police station.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:18:00 AM |

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