7/11 accused held in cheating case

Mohammed Ali Shaikh, an accused in the 7/11 Mumbai serial train blasts and the 2006 Malegaon blasts cases who has been lodged in Arthur Road Jail, was on Wednesday arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) for his alleged role in misappropriation of funds from a cooperative credit society in 2008.

Shaikh was earlier granted bail in the Malegaon blasts case, but was not released owing to his alleged involvement in the train blasts case.

Officers from the EOW of the Mumbai police said Shaikh was one of the accused in a case of misappropriation of Rs 1.2 crore from the Asuda Urban Co-operative Credit Society in Shivaji Nagar. Shaikh, one of the collection agents of the credit society from 1995 to 2001, has been accused of misappropriating Rs 32,000. His is the first arrest in the case.

According to to the EOW officers, the auditor of the cooperatives department, Anil Patil, had lodged a complaint with the police a month ago after completing investigations into the misappropriation of funds. The officers said that the members of the credit society, who had deposited money before 2001, did not get their money back, and then complained to the registrar of cooperative department. The registrar had then appointed Patil to probe irregularities. During the inquiry by the auditor, it was found that many collection agents who collected money from depositors did not deposit it into the credit society.

The auditor was approached by the members in 2008, after which the entire accounts of the credit society were examined by the auditor. After complete investigations, the auditor registered a case against eight people who were attached to the society, including the collection agents.

"Out of the eight accused, the role of Shaikh was prominent and we arrested him from the Arthur Road Jail on Wednesday. He has been remanded to police custody by the Esplanade Court," said an officer from the EOW.

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