In the opinion of the magistrates, the case is “Devilish”. For two months, Mumbai, the financial capital of India, has been rocked by a vast extortion scandal, from those who made it famous in the past in novels based on real facts like Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts (2003), Bombay Maximum City, by Suketu Mehta (2004), or The Lord of Bombay, by Vikram Chandra (2006), adapted as a web series by Netflix three years ago.
Each day brings revelations all the more crisp as the man in the spotlight is the Minister of the Interior of the State of Maharashtra (where Mumbai is located). Since April 5, Anil Deshmukh has been prosecuted for corruption by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Indian FBI. Although he denies it in front of the television cameras, he is suspected of having organized a large-scale racketeering system since November 2019.
According to Param Bir Singh, chief of the Mumbai police – under his orders – the politician demanded that the police take 1 billion rupees every month, or 11.2 million euros in liquid, at 1,750 bars and restaurants in the city. “Extortion is not just blackmail, opportunely reminds the daily economic Mint, it is an economic edifice that has its own silent rhythm. Its tentacles touch all aspects of city life, from street vendors to big business, law enforcement and the underworld. ”
It is a small grain of sand that allowed the discovery of this Machiavellian device. It all started on February 25, when the guardians of the Antilia Tower, on the crested hill of Tardeo, spotted a Mahindra brand Scorpio SUV, parked a few meters in front of them. Antilia is the building of all fantasies, the one that taxi drivers, without exception, point the finger at tourists disembarking in Mumbai. A 173-meter-high concrete and steel building built on a former slum. It is the residence of Mukesh Ambani, one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, an industrialist at the head of a heritage estimated by the magazine Forbes to 84.5 billion dollars (70 billion euros).
In the suspicious car are discovered sticks of gelatin ready to be turned into a bomb, as well as a threatening letter addressed to the billionaire to obtain a large sum of money from him. The investigator dispatched on the spot, Sachin Waze, will quickly prove, to the general amazement, a centerpiece of the case. The surveillance cameras of a store opposite will indeed reveal that the Scorpio had been parked there under the supervision of this commissioner of the criminal police. A real nanar with Bollywood sauce.
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