Two held for demanding Rs 40 lakh as extortion from timber merchant

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Ghaziabad, Feb 23 (PTI) Two men were arrested for allegedly demanding Rs 40 lakh as extortion from a timber smuggler in the Lon Kotwali area here, police said.

Pawan and Khurshid had called Vinod Gupta, owner of Lakshmi timber store, and threatened him that they will kill him if he did not pay them Rs 40 as extortion, they said.

The mobile number, through which the call was made, was put on surveillance. It was revealed during investigation that the accused had procured the sim card from Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh on a fake ID, Superintendent of Police (Rural) Iraj Raja said.

Three persons -- Diwakar, Avneesh and Haroon -- were arrested on February 14 for selling the sim card on fake the ID, he added.

Pawan and Khurshid were arrested on Tuesday morning following a tip-off, Raja said.

One country-made pistol and two live cartridges were seized from their possession, he said.

During interrogation, Pawan told police that he was employed as a driver in a shop near Gupta’s store, the SP said.

He told police that he lost his job and to meet his expenses he tried to extort money from Gupta, Raja said.

The two were sent to jail, police said. PTI Corr AQS AQS