Gangster Ravi Pujari has been arrested from the West African country of Senegal, according to media reports. Following a tip-off by Indian investigative agencies, underworld don Ravi Pujari was arrested by Senegal police from Dakar.
Starting off as a petty criminal, Pujari stepped over to big crimes with the killing of rival Bala Zalte, after which he went on to join Rajan. Pujari is one of the most notorious names in the underworld and has been mentored by gangster Chhotta Rajan himself.
Udupi-born Ravi Pujari was grown up under gangster Chhota Rajan in Mumbai. Later Pujari established his own gang. There were rumours that he had shifted his base to Bengaluru after series of encounters with Mumbai Police.
According to sources, the investigation agencies had found Ravi Pujari’s location to be Burkina Faso in western Africa before he was located in Senegal. Ravi Pujari is wanted in a list of cases including extortion, kidnapping and murder.
On Monday (January 28), the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against two alleged members of the Ravi Pujari gang.
William Rodricks and Akash Shetty were arrested by the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) earlier this month for threatening a builder.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Pujari was arrested on January 22 but the Indian embassy was informed about his arrest on January 26.
Pujari is one of the most notorious names in the underworld and has been mentored by gangster Chhotta Rajan himself. Starting off as a petty criminal, Pujari stepped over to big crimes with the killing of rival Bala Zalte, after which he went on to join Rajan.
The gangster, who has been on the run for more than a decade, is wanted in India in a number of cases including extortion, kidnapping, murder, blackmail and cheating. The extortion cases registered against Pujari involved several Bollywood stars. He had a Red Corner Notice issued against his name and was believed to be residing in Australia.
As per a report published in the local media, Pujari was in possession of a fake passport in the name of Anthony Fernandez when he was arrested. It was reported that he was nabbed in Dakar by the Interpol Central Bureau in a joint operation with the local Criminal Investigations Division.
Pujari is likely to be brought to India on a special flight, the report stated.
The news came just a day after India managed to secure the extradition of two corruption accused – Rajiv Saxena (AgustaWestland chopper scam accused) and Deepak Talwar (corporate lobbyist and aviation consultant) – from the UAE.
In December last year, the Narendra Modi government managed a coup of sort by securing the extradition of UK-based businessman Christian Michel from the UAE. Michel was the key middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
Four members of his gang were arrested last year in April to five years imprisonment for plotting the murder of Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. According to ANI, Bhatt had testified against the gang in 2017.
Pujari reportedly parted ways with Rajan in 2001.
According to NDTV, Pujari allegedly used to make extortion demands to Bollywood personalities between 2009 and 2013. His gang was also reportedly involved in the shootout outside producer-brothers Karim and Aly Morani residence.
He is long wanted in India for a number of cases, including extortion, kidnapping and murder. Dalit leader from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani had last year filed a police complaint alleging that Pujari had threatened to kill him.
Following the arrest of his alleged henchman in June last year, it was revealed Pujari had allegedly threatened several Bollywood personalities, including Mahesh Bhatt and Farah Khan, as well.
The Mumbai Police, last week, arrested Akash Shetty, an aide of Pujari who took over the Mumbai operations, amid high drama from a village in Mangalore in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.
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