The trader, Tathawade-resident Vinay Sundarrao Naik, was kidnapped from Hotel Samadhan in Tathawade on January 14. His friend Rafiq Alauddin Syed told the Wakad police Naik was abducted by seven-eight persons in a car.
As per a Hindustan Times report, police were able to arrest four persons—Sunil Ram Shinde (49), Vasant Shyamrao Chavan (47), Francis Timothy D’Souza (50), and Mayur Mahendra Shirke (35)—from Mumbai. The car used by the kidnappers was also seized by police.
Soon after his kidnapping, a police team started tracking down the accused based on the mobile phone location as well as CCTV cameras footage. When the accused cop, identified as Dilip Tukaram Khandare, got wind of Wakad police trying to crack the case, he dropped Naik back in Wakad.
Naik told the police the eight accused wanted Bitcoin and Rs 8 lakh. They had taken Naik to a secluded place in Alibag, Koparwadi Marg, Jalpada in Raigad district.
According to Pimpri Chinchwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash, the arrested men named their accomplices—Pradip Kashinath Kate, Dilip Tukaram Khandare (who planned the crime), Sanjay (alias Nico Rajesh Bansal), and Shirish Chandrakant Khot. The accused have been booked under sections 363, 365, 364(a), 120(b), and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Commissioner Prakash told reporters that constable Khandare had learnt about share trader Naik when he was posted with the cybercrime cell of Pune city police.
“Khandare told us that during his stint with Pune police, he came to know that Naik had amassed Bitcoin cryptocurrency worth Rs 300 crore,” said the officer.
This isn’t Khandare’s first run-in with the law. He was earlier arrested by the anti-corruption bureau for accepting Rs 10,000 as a bribe in 2019 when he was posted at the Chikhali police station.