Deported gangster Santosh Shetty has told investigators the story behind his split from mentor and fugitive don Chhota Rajan.
Police sources privy to Shetty’s interrogation said that somewhere around mid 2003, Shetty and Rajan hit upon a plan to set up a factory to manufacture the banned drug Mandrax in Batam, Indonesia. Batam is an island city in Riau province of Indonesia, known for being a free trade zone.
It is just 20 km away from Singapore. “As per the plan, Shetty and Rajan contributed $4,00,000 each. An equal amount was invested by two more locals,” sources said, quoting Shetty.
As per the agreement with the suppliers of the machinery and raw materials, half the amount ($8,00,000) was paid as advance while the rest was to be paid after the entire delivery was made. Everything went smoothly initially and the advance was paid. The machinery and the consignment were to arrive three months later. “Rajan gave the custody of the remaining amount ($8,00,000) to Shetty,” sources said.
Shetty wanted to cash in on this money by investing it in some other business. “He began purchasing counterfeit US dollars which were being smuggled from China,” sources added. The smuggled fakes were then pushed into nearby markets of Singapore while some found a route back to China. “Initially, Shetty made good profits. However, he ran out of luck when one of his major consignments was intercepted in Shanghai, while another two were caught in Singapore. Shetty virtually went bankrupt,” sources said.
Meanwhile, the date for payment to suppliers of materials and machinery for the factory arrived.
“When Rajan asked Shetty to hand over the amount kept with him, the latter confessed to having lost the money in the fake US dollars trade,” sources added.
Rajan felt betrayed since Santosh never informed him of this business. “Rajan lost his cool for the breach of trust and asked Shetty to keep off forever,” sources said, adding that Shetty was also warned of dire consequences if he ever showed up again.
Fully aware of Rajan’s vengeful nature, Shetty went into hiding for the next one year, before he could find his way into Thailand, leaving behind his second wife and son back in Indonesia.