NCP office-bearer arrested in 2002 extortion case

Mumbai: An NCP office-bearer wanted in a 2002 extortion case, in which a builder was demanded Rs two crore by a group of seven people, associated with underworld don Chhota Rajan, was on Tuesday arrested, said a senior police official.

Vijay Wadkar, who was recently appointed as the president of NCP's south Mumbai, was arrested from Tardeo of central Mumbai in the 2002 extortion case, police said.

According to police, a builder in south Mumbai had been threatened by a man claiming to be Rajan's aide. The man demanded Rs two crore from the builder alleging that the latter was involved in several scams and he had to shell out the amount for protection.

After the victim expressed his inability to give Rs two crore, the amount was reduced to Rs 15 lakh, police said adding that the builder had sent Rs five lakh through his worker as the first instalment to the gang after informing the police about the threatening calls.

As a gang member had come to collect the money at Dadar in central Mumbai, police laid a trap and arrested the caller. Subsequently five of his gang members were arrested and Wadkar was wanted in this case.

"An information was received that Wadkar is wanted in the 2002 case. We worked out on the piece of information and checked the records. Subsequently, the NCP man was arrested," said a senior police official said.

Wadkar was produced before a local court, which has remanded him in police custody till April 7, police said.