MRA Marg cops under scanner for taking bribes from Ugandans

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UgandansOver a month after 37 policemen from Nehru Nagar were suspended for taking bribes, the khaki has been tainted by a similar graft blot. Three inspectors attached to the MRA Marg police station are under scanner for taking a bribe of Rs 1 crore from three Ugandan nationals, accused in a high-profile extortion case last month, and letting them walk away.

After they fled Mumbai, Uganda MPs Michael Mawanda (left) and Isaac Musumba (right), along with the third accused Yakuba Mathai, moved the Supreme Court, claiming their detention is illegal.

According to sources, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Ravindra Shisve has written to Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sadanand Date, asking for the suspension of Senior Inspector Padmakar Juikar, Inspector Siddheshwar Gove and Sub-Inspector Mahesh Kale, all from MRA Marg police station. On April 19, the MRA Marg police booked two Ugandan MPs and a businessman for trying to extort $20 million (or Rs 108 crore) from four senior officials of Videocon Industries.

On the complaint of one of Videocon’s directors Marven Fernandes, police registered a first information report against Isaac Musumba (52) and Michael Mawanda (45) – both members of Ugandan Parliament – and businessman Yakuba Mathai (35). The Uganda government has clarified that it has nothing to do with the private visit of the trio.

The accused were picked up from Trident Hotel and booked under sections 384 (extortion), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), and 441 (criminal trespass) of the Indian Penal Code. Though the FIR was filed, police have not yet taken any action against the trio. Sources said DCP Shisve had tasked PSI Kale to keep watch on the three as they could try to flee the country. Time to time, Shisve took updates in the case.

But the trio still managed to leave Mumbai for Delhi and filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court there, alleging that their detention was illegal. The apex court then asked the Mumbai police to file a reply in the matter. Sources said that the accused police officials took a bribe in dollars to the tune of Rs 1 crore from the three and did not take any action.

Incidentally, the accused Ugandans even tried to flee the country. They were close to catching a flight at Delhi airport but immigration officials intercepted them, and a lookout notice was issued against them. Smelling a rat, Shisve wrote a letter (which MiD DAY has seen) to Jt CP Date, demanding for suspension of the cops Juikar, Kale and Gove, who was the investigation officer.

In 2009, Videocon had invested in a business in Uganda, but wrapped it up without any prior notice to investors. The Ugandan accused claimed they had an international arrest warrant against the directors. They also claimed that they had come to Mumbai for settlement and sought $20 million from Videocon. Later, it was revealed that the accused were on a personal trip to the country.

The other side
Jt CP Date was not available for comment as he is on leave. SI Juikar, one of the accused cops, said, “I am not aware about any letter against us.” DCP Shisve was tight-lipped on the matter. About the letter he wrote to Date, he only said, “This is our internal letter.”

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