The Anti Extortion Cell of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Monday arrested an accused who allegedly took Rs 50 lakh from Salim Qureshi alias Salim Fruit, recently arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), promising to shield him from arrest.
Salim, a close aide of Shakeel Babumiyan Sheikh alias Chhota Shakeel, was arrested last week by the NIA. He is alleged to be part of a network set up by Shakeel’s boss, who wanted terror accused Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, to finance and conduct anti-India activities.
According to sources, the accused has been identified as Vishal Devraj Singh, who contacted Salim shortly before his arrest.
“Singh told Salim that he was close to a very senior politician based in Delhi. The name that Singh took was of such a veteran and senior politician that Salim believed him and paid him Rs 50 lakh. Subsequently, Singh called Salim to Delhi, supposedly to finalise the deal. Salim stayed in a hotel for a few days, after which Singh called him up and told him that he was now untouchable, and could go back to Mumbai without any worries,” an officer said.
The incident came to light following Salim’s arrest and based on this information, the AEC picked up Singh and placed him under arrest on Monday.
While senior Crime Branch officials remained unavailable for comment, two officers who are part of the investigation confirmed to the Free Press Journal that Singh had been arrested on Monday. Two more of his associates are said to be under the scanner.