Duo arrested for demanding Rs 10 crore from Thane corporator

Duo arrested for demanding Rs 10 crore bribe from Thane corporator
Anud Shirgaonkar and Anil Bhanushali were arrested yesterday

Thane police arrested two persons, including a woman, for allegedly demanding Rs 10 crore from BJP corporator Manohar Dumbre to help him make an MLC.

Acting on a complaint filed by the BJP corporator, a trap was laid at a hotel in Thane yesterday and the duo was arrested.

The accused were identified as Anud Shirgaonkar (29) and Anil Bhanushali (31), residents of Kalyan and Navi Mumbai, said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Makarand Ranade.

A search is on for the third accused in the case, Abdulla Ansari.

According to Dumbre, he received a phone call from the duo on March 4 stating they can help him become a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council if he paid Rs 10 crore.

The two claimed they were well connected in political circles and can arrange a meeting between him and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the corporator said in his complaint.

Dumbre said as he suspected the credentials of the callers. He said he first discussed the issue with his friends and then contacted the chief minister.

After getting convinced the two were out to cheat him and were just indulging in influence peddling, Dumbre lodged a complaint and the two were arrested when they came to meet him and collect an advance of Rs 25 lakh.

Biennial elections to 21 Legislative Council seats in the state are due later this year.

The duo had told Dumbre that nominations for MLC polls would happen in June/July and he was required to pay an advance of Rs 25 lakh now and Rs 4.75 crore before swearing-in. The balance Rs 5 crore was to be paid after swearing-in.

On March 19, the woman (Anud) asked Dumbre to submit his bio-data and also made him speak to a man posing as the chief minister. The man was later identified as Ansari, who is on the run.

The duo has been booked under IPC sections related to cheating, cheating by personation and criminal conspiracy, among others.

With agency inputs

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