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Hi-tech extortionist with Net calling card
Published on 8 Dec. 2010 11:15 PM IST
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An internet calling card, 44 sim cards and one 1GB pen drive; that’s all Dhananjay Pradhan had besides a laptop to extort crores across eastern India.
In an effort to evade arrest, the tech-savvy criminal used calling card of Nepal to hoodwink police to detect his location. His hitlist included businessmen, contractors, builders, scrap lifters and even doctors.
The Ranchi police learnt after his late Sunday night arrest that Pradhan operated on two fake IDs of Amit Kumar Singh and Aditya Kumar Singh and had two driving licenses made from Patna, a fake voter card of Siliguri, where he claimed to have business of property dealing and courier services. Pradhan was produced before the media on Monday and confessed that he was involved in extortion in Kolkata, Ranchi, Ramgarh, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Jamshedpur, Darjeeling, Rourkela and even in Patna.
SSP Praveen Kumar Singh said he operated several fake bank accounts and asked the businessmen to deposit money in these accounts. “Currently, in these accounts he has Rs 2.5 lakh cash,” said Singh.
Though arrested for the first time in 2003-04 from Kolkata, Pradhan managed to get out of jail in 2008 and again started extortion. “He was running a closely-knit extortion racket headed by him,” said Singh, adding that in almost every city, he had people, who used to supply him contact details of businessmen and builders of the area. Ranchi police were after Pradhan for the last one year, when some businessmen reported that he has again started making threat and extortion calls. After tracking him to Kolkata, Patna, Siliguri and Rourkela, the police finally managed to arrest him in Ranchi from a hotel.
He had come to the state capital to collect money from the businessmen but was trapped at the right time. A countrymade pistol, pen drives, diaries, Rs 45,000 in cash, bank passbooks, ATM cards and pay-in slips of private banks were recovered from him. One of his associates, Krishna Kumar Pandey, was also arrested. “Every month, he used to visit Ranchi to collect money from the businessmen and contractors and till now, he has extorted more than Rs 1 crore from different cities of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa,” said Singh.

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