Mumbai brokers arested for killing Pune billionaire

Pune/Mumbai, May 5 (IANS) Two Mumbai realty agents, nabbed in connection with the brutal murder of a Pune billionaire and his secretary for a property deal in Mumbai, were sent to police custody till Friday by a Pune magistrate here Sunday.

Ibrahim Ismail Shaikh, 38, and Ravindra Shankar Shetty, 37, were arrested from Bandra suburb of Mumbai late Saturday night.

They have been charged with the murder of Vinod Broker, 82, and his secretary Usha Nair, 52, an official said.

Broker was the son of a famous Gujarati author and businessman, the late Gulabdas Broker, who was conferred a Padma Shree in 1991. Gulabdas Broker died in Pune aged 97 in 2006.

Vinod Broker and Nair were reported missing April 29 from Pune and their badly charred bodies were recovered from a desolate place near Khasurdi village in adjoining Satara district.

The killings apparently followed a mega-deal worth Rs.48 crore on Broker’s bungalow at Vile Parle Juhu, known as Janki Kutir, which he was trying to sell since last February.

Sheikh and Shetty had approached Broker to purchase the bungalow, and after a series of negotiations, they clinched the deal for the property, which has six bedrooms, a huge garden and other facilities in the celebrity-studded neighbourhood of Juhu.

Earlier, Broker had encashed a couple of other properties in prime locations in Mumbai and sold off an agriculture products company besides other assets and lived a retired life in Pune’s Bund Garden area.

Even as the Janki Kutir deal was finalised, Sheikh and Shetty insisted that Broker and Nair accompany them to check out a good property for investment in Satara last weekend.

En route, when their vehicles was crossing the Katraj Tunnel, Sheikh, Shetty and two other accomplices strangulated Broker and Nair.

They dumped the bodies near a desolate brick kiln near Kasurdi village in Satara, poured petrol and set them afire.

They returned to Mumbai, sold off Broker’s Maruti SX4 vehicle and continued their normal routine till their arrest Saturday.

Pune police learnt of the double murder when Satara police flashed wireless messages about the two unidentified charred bodies.

Pune police, which were on the lookout for the duo, reached Satara with Nair’s family members who recognised the bodies from some jewellery worn by Usha Nair.

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