Indian gang ‘ran fake police station out of a hotel just 500 yards from an actual cop HQ and extorted locals for EIGHT MONTHS’ before being caught
- Gang of six accused of running fake police station in town of Banka, Bihar state
- They wore phony uniforms and extorted bribes from locals, real officers say
- Promised to solve crimes, apply for social housing and even get people jobs as officers for bribes between £1 and £10 that they trousered
- Scheme ran for eight months out of hotel 500 yards from actual police station
An Indian gang ran a fake police station for eight months in order to extort bribes from locals, the actual police have claimed.
The phony outfit consisted of six people with fake uniforms operating out of a hotel in the town of Banka, in India‘s north-eastern Bihar state, that was located just 500 yards from a real cop shop.
The ‘officers’ told locals they could deal with issues ranging from logging criminal reports to applying for social housing and even getting them jobs in the police, demanding payments of between £1 and more than £10 to make it happen.
Six people are accusing of using phony police uniforms (left) to pose as cops and extort bribes out of locals in the town of Banka, north-east India
In fact, all the paperwork was simply dumped at their ‘headquarters’ and the gang trousered the payments.
They also paid people from the largely rural area daily wages of about £5 to pretend to be other police officers working at the station.
The gang was only caught earlier this week after a real officer spotted that one of the fake cops was carrying a non-standard issue pistol.
Shambhu Yadav, who heads up the actual police station in Banka, said he stopped Anita Devi Murmu, 25, and ‘colleague’ Aakash Kumar Manjhi, 27, as they made their way back to the hotel from a site where a shopping mall was being built.
Yadav said the pair had been harassing shop-owners at the government-funded site, telling them to report to the local police station to have properties assigned to them.
Shambhu Yadav, the town’s real police chief, caught the gang after noticing that one of their ‘officers’ was carrying a non-standard pistol on her hip
When Yadav quizzed the pair about where in town they were based, he said they became evasive so he took them in for further questioning.
It was then that they admitted they were operating out of a ‘station’ nearby.
Police raided the hotel and arrested three other people: Ramesh Kumar, Wakil Kumar and Julie Kumari Manjhi.
A sixth suspect and the suspected ringleader of the gang, Bola Yadav – who has no relation to the actual police chief – is still being sought.
The arrested members of the gang have denied wrongdoing, saying they thought they had actual jobs in the police force.
But officers who raided their ‘station’ found 40 electoral cards used to apply for development schemes, and 500 applications for social housing that had not been posted as they were supposed to have been.
The fake police station was run out of a hotel located just 500 yards down the road from the town’s real police station (pictured)
“We have heard cases of fake cops or investigating officers in the country. This is the first time we have heard of a fake police station,” one real officer told local media.
Corruption in India is common, with even real members of the police and armed forces demanding money to carry out their duties.
That, coupled with widespread respect for authorities in uniform and poor administration meaning it is hard to keep track of genuine officers, means people often impersonate cops to make money.
In June, the son of a retired policeman, P Madan Kumar, reportedly had a police jeep fitted with sirens and masqueraded as an officer to fleece nearly two million rupees off unsuspecting locals in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.