Pharmacist Times owner Ajay Soni arrested on extortion charges

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Jun 2018 09:57:33


Special Correspondent,

Ambazari cops are likely to arrest some more persons

AMBAZARI Police on Wednesday arrested Ajay Badrinarayan Soni, owner of weekly ‘Pharmacist Times’ for allegedly blackmailing Vice-President of Maharashtra State Chemists & Druggist Association (MSCDA) Mukund Dattatraya Dubey and extorting lakhs of rupees by threatening to implicate him for outraging modesty of his woman assistant.

After putting Soni, a resident of Shrivignaharta Ganesh Apartment, Mate Chowk, behind bars, cops are likely to arrest some more persons in this connection.

According to police, Dubey (48), a resident of M 2-3, Khare Chambers, Gokulpeth, runs pharmaceutical business for the past 23 years. A wholesaler and retailer of medicines, Dubey owns Medical Shoppe at Medical College Square, and a depot -- Elite Logistics --at Adarsh Nagar, Wadi. He is also a medicine distributor in Vidarbha and Marathwada.

In March last year, Soni was in dire need of money. Being known to him, Dubey had given him Rs 12.50 lakh. The amount was deposited in the account of ‘Pharmacist Times’. However, Soni did not return him the money. Kalyani Wagh, who works as Soni’s assistant in ‘Pharmacist Times’, had also met Dubey in his Dhantoli office eight-nine months ago. At that time, Kalyani had told Dubey that she left ‘Pharmacist Times’ as she was being used by Soni but he did not give any proper remuneration. Kalyani had told him that her mother’s health was not good and she needed money for her treatment. She promised to return the money to Dubey by working in his ‘Vidarbha Swasth Samachar’. Dubey then had given her Rs one lakh for her mother’s treatment.

When Dubey asked Ajay Soni and Kalyani to return the money borrowed by them, they bluntly refused and also abused him.
After Dubey told Soni and Kalyani that he would sue them, they threatened to implicate him in a criminal case.
On May 18, Soni posted a message on a WhatsApp group defaming the Vice-President of MSCDA without mentioning Dubey’s name.

On May 23, Ajay sent SMSes defaming Dubey. Around 7.30 pm, the same day, Soni came to a stall in Ram Nagar near Hanuman Mandir where Dubey was having a cup of tea. Soni demanded Rs 10 lakh and threatened to implicate him in a criminal case. He told Dubey to come to his Ravi Nagar office and hand over the cash.

Fearing more trouble, Dubey went to his office and handed over Rs one lakh to him. Soni again threatened Dubey of dire consequences if he failed to give the remaining Rs nine lakh within two days.

On May 25, one Sanjay Khobragade told him that he had received a call from Ajay and the latter wanted to discuss the matter to prevent his defamation.
Dubey, Sanjay Khobragade, Suresh Gupta, and Rajesh Jopat went to Parmanand Medical Stores, Sitabuldi, as told by Soni. Soni, Kalyani and Manish Mehadia were already at the medical stores. Ajay threatened Dubey that he should forget the amount taken by him otherwise he would defame him across the state.
As Ajay was continuously harassing him for money, Dubey lodged a complaint with Assistant Commissioner of Police against Soni on May 26.

However, Ajay again started demanding Rs nine lakh. When he refused, Soni with the assistance of Kalyani Wagh, lodged a fake complaint that he outraged her modesty.
After conducting preliminary investigation following Dubey’s complaint, cops registered an offence under Sections 384 (extortion), 406 (Criminal breach of trust), 500 (Punishment for defamation), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code against Soni and others. Further investigation are under way.

Meanwhile, sources said, several cases of extortion, cheating and cheque bouncing were registered against Soni at different police stations.