MUMBAI: A Nagpur-based businessman’s rendezvous with a woman friend turned sour when a gang of armed robbers pounced on them at her Malad flat and made off with valuables. Investigations later revealed that the girl’s boyfriend, Vinod Raparti, allegedly plotted the crime and roped in his friends.
Raparti (34) used to date the woman, a waitress. He helped her rent a flat in a Mhada building and lived with her on and off. “She was also friendly with a Nagpur-based businessman, Anand Bondre (34). She had introduced Raparti to Bondre as her `rakhi brother’. Raparti saw Bondre was rich and would splurge on the woman. With no job, he was short of money and hit upon the idea of extortion,” said a police officer.
Raparti learnt from the woman that Bondre was to fly into Mumbai to meet her. He made a duplicate key to her flat without her knowledge. He gathered four friends and explained the plot. He booked a room at a Mira Road lodge for the gang. On April 1, after dropping the woman at the domestic airport, where she was to pick up Bondre, he called the gang, let them into the woman’s flat, and left to observe the building at a distance.
“Upon seeing the woman and Bondre arrive, he alerted the gang.As the duo entered the flat and shut the door, the four men pounced on them, threatened them with knives, and bound and gagged them,” said police officer Pradeep Raorane.The gang demanded Bondre arrange for Rs 3 crore from his family , but he expressed an inability to do so. After negotiating for a few hours, the gang stripped him and the woman of gold jewellery , cash and a watch, collectively worth Rs 6.87 lakh.
“After the gang left, Bondre unti ed himself and dialled the police control room. We registered a case of dacoity and intimidation,” said senior inspector Ramchandra Gaikwad. The police questioned the woman, wondering how the gang managed to wait indoors in advance. An inspection of her phone records revealed frequent calls by Raparti. He was questioned. His phone location showed he was in Malad on the day of the incident. Raparti led the cops to his accomplices, Amardeep Chavan (24), Vinayak Vadam (32), Vishal Pise (36) and Nitin Bhore (32). The first two have past crime records. All five were arrested and Bondre and the woman’s valuables recovered.