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Eight of extortion gang in dragnet

Patna, Dec. 6: Police today claimed to have nabbed eight members of a gang extorting money from people through mimicry.

The gang, operating for around two years in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, had collected more than Rs 3 crore from its illegal activities and even bought an SUV.

Sources said last year, the gang had called up former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi, trying to extort money from him. The gangsters were successful in extorting a large sum of money from an inspector-general (IG)-rank police officer based in Meerut by calling him up and posing as his senior officer. The gang member asked the IG to transfer money to a specific account for some urgent police work.

However, stating ongoing investigations, the police refrained from sharing details of specific examples of fraud.

Patna city superintendent of police Jayant Kant told The Telegraph: “On November 1 this year, an additional collector-rank officer posted in Khaira in Uttar Pradesh received a call from a man posing as the commissioner of Agra division, Pradeep Bhatnagar, asking for Rs 80,000. After tracing the call to Patna, a team of Agra police arrived in Bihar. A special team was formed with Patna police to probe into the case and the gang was busted. The kingpin, identified as Ranjan Mishra, is absconding.”

The arrested were identified as Rupam Kumar, Amit Kumar, Avinash Kumar, Rajeev Kumar, Prem Lal, Rajeev Kumar, alias Annat, Neeraj Kumar and Satish Kumar. An SUV, two laptops, seven ATM cards, bank passbooks, two Internet modems and software CDs were recovered.