Arrested deputy collector may have underworld links:Police

Mumbai, Feb 11 (PTI) The Crime Branch of the Mumbaipolice today said they were investigating whether the deputycollector of MHADA Nitesh Thakur, arrested for threatening abuilder, has any underworld links.

Thakur and his brother Nilesh were arrested on Tuesdayfor allegedly threatening a builder Mukesh Wagela.

"We suspect (they have)underworld links but we are stillexamining it," said Deven Bharti, Additional Commissioner ofPolice (Crime).

While a senior police officer said that it is a uniquecase where links have been established between a seniorgovernment officer (Nitesh Thakur) and the underworld.

The police sources also said that investigations haverevealed that Thakurs owned an office in Dubai.

"We suspect that the accused have underworld links but weare also investigating if they have connection with wantedcriminals who are based outside India," said the police.

According to the police, Nilesh owed Wagela Rs 14.5crore but instead of repaying the builder, he used gangstersto extort more cash. The police also said that Wagela gotthreatening calls from Dubai wherein the caller allegedlythreatened him to settle the dispute with Thakur or else facedire consequences.

Earlier the police had said that they suspect thatThakurs had amassed wealth worth Rs 500 crore.

A local court today extended their police custody tillFebruary 18. Nitesh Thakur was officer on special duty at J JHospital before joining Mhada (Maharashtra Housing AreaDevelopment Authority) in 2006.

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