Hiren Bhagat booked in yet another extortion case | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Hiren Bhagat booked in yet another extortion case

ByManish K Pathak, Mumbai
Feb 16, 2024 06:54 AM IST

Police have registered a case against Hiren Bhagat for allegedly extorting around ₹9 crore from a businessman on the pretext of protecting his son from arrest by the ED. Bhagat will be arrested soon. The businessman's son was arrested by the ED and when he asked Bhagat for his money, he allegedly threatened him. Bhagat was previously arrested in connection with an alleged extortion bid of ₹164 crore on a developer.

Police have registered another case against Khar resident Hiren Bhagat for allegedly extorting around 9 crore from a 90-year-old businessman on the pretext of protecting his son from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.

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The police have taken a production warrant from a court against Bhagat, and he will be arrested soon, a crime branch officer said.

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The businessman, who runs a travel firm, said in his complaint that he met Bhagat in 2020 when there was a money laundering probe going on against his son. The ED’s case is based on an FIR by the police’s economic offences wing that alleged the travel firm had defaulted in repayment of loans to the tune of 3,642 crore borrowed from a bank.

The loans were allegedly sanctioned by the bank’s managing director bypassing the norms and the travel firm owner, allegedly with the help of senior firm employees, including internal auditor, diverted the loan money to other group companies, police officers said.

Bhagat initially promised the complainant that he would help him evade the arrest of his son and later to get him released from jail and accepted around 9 crore from him. The police said the businessman’s son was arrested by the ED and when the complainant asked Bhagat for his money, he allegedly threatened him, a police officer said. The complainant then approached the Bandra police, and a case of extortion and threat was registered against him. The probe was transferred to unit 9 of the crime branch.

On January 31, Bhagat and five others were arrested in connection with an alleged extortion bid of 164 crore on a city-based developer. Investigations by unit 9 of the crime branch revealed that Bhagat had threatened the builder to get him booked in a money laundering case. The police found cash and valuables worth 13.63 crore and three foreign pistols in Bhagat’s home.

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