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Mumbai police arrests two LCOs in Digicable-Hathway case

MUMBAI: A special investigation team (SIT) of Mumbai police has arrested two local cable operators (LCOs) named Aamir Mastan Gabaji and Ravi Pasi in the Digicable-Hathway matter, wherein Digicable had filed a complaint against Hathway for illegally taking over its network in Andheri and Jogeshwari along with equipment and set-top boxes (STBs) worth several crores of rupees.

The two accused have been remanded to police custody till 3 July. Headed by inspector Naresh Kasle, the SIT comprises three sub-inspectors and six constable.

The other accused in the case Santosh Ankolekar and Rajendra Rane were granted interim bail till 3 July.

The SIT questioned more than 30 local cable operators (LCOs) in Andheri and Jogeshwari, who, during interrogation, admitted that Hathway had indeed used the cable TV infrastructure of Digicable at Andheri and Jogeshwari.

Aggrieved at the slow pace of investigation, Digicable approached the Mumbai Commissioner of Police to look into the matter. Pursuant to the complaint, the SIT was formed in the first week of June 2014 to investigate the case.

The SIT has so far recovered more than 8,000 STBs of Digicable from 17 LCOs in Andheri and Jogeshwari.

Digicable MD and CEO Jagjit Singh Kohli had filed a complaint of criminal breach of trust, theft and criminal intimidation against Santosh Ankoleker and three senior officials including promoter Viren Raheja, Milind Karnik and Rajendra Rane at Andheri MIDC Police station.

In his complaint, Kohli had alleged that Ankolekar, along with the three other accused, hatched a conspiracy against Digicable and appropriated its cable and fibre optic network as well as all the related infrastructural material worth more than Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million).

Kohli also accused Ankolekar and the three Hathway officials of illegally holding back more than 80,000 STBs belonging to Digicable worth Rs 16 crore (Rs 160 million).

Digicable had earlier filed an FIR against Amit Nag in Kolkata for misappropriation of digital equipment. Nag had switched to Hathway after a long stint at Digicable.