The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police on Thursday arrested the secretary of a senior editor of The Times of India for allegedly siphoning off Rs 15 crore from Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd, the firm which owns the newspaper.
Amit Mayekar, who worked with the paper’s associate executive editor Derick D’sa, is accused of conspiring “with unknown persons” to make payments for freelance articles that were never actually written or published.
Mayekar, who had been on the run since May 6, was arrested along with his brother-in-law Amay Sawant from Pune. A court in Mumbai had rejected his anticipatory bail application on May 10.
In his complaint to the police, D’sa said that Mayekar reportedly got him to sign invoices for payments to 78 contributors. A crime branch official told Scroll.in that Mayekar used to transfer the money into the accounts of the beneficiaries, and would later ask them to withdraw the cash. “These beneficiaries would get a 10% commission,” the official claimed.
The police are also inquiring into Mayekar’s previous financial transactions, including his trips abroad. They are also looking into the bank accounts of his relatives. With these arrests, the police have held 23 people in connection with the alleged fraud. Eighteen of them were arrested on May 8 and 9.