Two Mumbai policemen and a retired income tax official, who attempted to extort money from a jeweller at Navsari near Surat in Gujarat, were caught in the act by residents on Thursday . The three were handed over to the Navsari police, who arrested them for forgery , cheating and extortion.

Mumbai police commissioner D Sivanandan confirmed the incident. The Gujarat police have informed us about the incident following which, we have suspended them and have also started an inquiry, he said. The two arrested policemen have been identified as subinspector Sandeep Shinde of the traffic division at Tardeo and constable Shantaram Dawade, a driver with the motor transport of the Mumbai police. The third accused is a retired income tax officer , Uday Pondekar (63).

According to superintendent of police at Navsari Premveer Singh, around 3 pm on Thursday, the trio, posing as income tax officers, entered a jewellery manufacturing unit owned by one Siraj Shaikh. Pondekar even showed his old identity card, which convinced Shaikh. After inspecting the store, the three asked Shaikh to get all the gold and silver ornaments, which they said they would seize and take to the I-T office, said Singh.

When they asked Shaikh to go to the I-T office with related papers, he got suspicious as two other jewellers in the vicinity had been cheated in a similar fashion, the police said. At that point, one of the employees slipped out of the shop and came back with a few residents and other shop owners. Together , they caught the three and beat them up before locking them up in a room. Later , they handed them over to the police, Singh said.

The Navsari police have seized a Maharashtra- registered Tavera car in which the three had gone to Gujarat and the service revolver belonging to sub-inspector Shinde. Now the police are trying to find out if they had robbed other jewellers in Gujarat the same way, said another officer.

LONG ARM OF LAW: The accused were trying to seize and make away with all the ornaments in a shop when they were caught

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