PUNE: A jeweller was robbed by four men posing as Income Tax officers in Khambatki Ghat on Saturday. The businessman was on his way from Pune to Nipani when he was intercepted by the impersonators, who robbed him at gunpoint.
Three of the robbers have been arrested while the fourth is at large. The accused were identified Shantanu Dange (32) of Karve Nagar, Sandeep Rajiwade (32) and Rahul Dhwale (28) of Bhor and Mahesh Salunkhe (32) of Katraj, who is at large. The police said Dange is the prime accused and an active member of Akhil Bharatiya Sena, a party founded by underworld don Arun Gawli.
According to the police, the victim’s BMW was intercepted by the four accused travelling in a Honda Civic at Khambatki ghat. They posed as Income Tax officers and asked the businessman to accompany them to their office to search his car.
They then took him to Varandha Ghat and robbed him off of his jewellery at gun point. The victim lodged a complaint at Khandala police station and sleuths of Pune rural police were intimated about the incident, who spotted the car at Khed Shivapur toll plaza.
Further investigation led to a garage in Pune. Though the police couldn’t trace the owner of the garage, they managed to find Dange’s location and arrested him. During interrogation, Dange revealed information about his other accomplices.
BOOTY HIDDEN IN TRUCK
The police said that the accused hid the ornaments inside a dilapidated truck on the road. “After crossing a police barrier on the slope of Varandha Ghat in their own car, they were afraid of getting arrested at the next police post and drove the car off the road and hid the ornaments in a truck they found there,” said an official from Pune rural police. The police have recovered all ornaments.