Three extortionists nabbed

NEW DELHI, JULY 12. Three alleged extortionists owing allegiance to a gangster based in West Asia were arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi police on Tuesday. Seizures included a 9 mm pistol, a .38 bore revolver, some live cartridges, a cellular phone and a Maruti van.

Acting on a tip-off, a Special Cell police team laid a trap for the suspects at Motia Bagh in Sarai Rohilla yesterday. The unsuspecting trio walked into it and were promptly arrested. They were identified as Mohammad Alauddin (19), Haider Ali (26) and Mohammad Gufran (26), all hailing from Bihar.

They were thoroughly interrogated and confessed to working for Fazal-ur-Rahman, a former Dawood Ibrahim aide, now operating from a Gulf country. The trio claimed that they had got in touch with Fazal, also hailing from Bihar, two years ago. As they were unemployed, Fazal convinced them to come to Bihar and help him set up a criminal base. Here, they met three more associates of Fazal, Samshul, Vivek and Javed.

Fazal instructed them to make threat calls to affluent businessmen and then provide them his telephone number. By continuously threatening them, the gangsters used to psychologically tear apart these businessmen. Soon, they would comply with the demands for money. The payments were made through the hawala channel. In one case, in which the businessman did not comply with the demand, he was shot at by the trio but escaped unhurt.

Alauddin and his associates claimed that till date they had received Rs. 4 lakhs for their expenses in Delhi and to buy a cellular phone and the Maruti van. Three cases of extortion were registered at the Kashmere Gate, Roop Nagar and Paharganj police stations.

Three more associates of Fazal, Vivek, Shamshul and Javed were absconding and efforts were on to arrest them.