The crime branch arrested Paulson Joseph, a Chhota Rajan aide, for his alleged involvement in the murder of journalist J Dey, from Tilak Nagar on Monday. Dey was shot dead at Powai on June 11.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime, said that Paulson was instrumental in providing logistical support to Dey’s killers, including sharpshooter Satish Kalya. “He [Paulson] provided SIM cards to Kalya and his seven-member team to assist in communication while executing the plan. Kalya had used some of those cards to communicate with Rajan in the run up to the murder and later too.”
Roy added that the SIM cards with international roaming facility were categorically used to avoid the use of local cellular network. “The international cards were used deliberately to mislead the investigators.”
Ten persons, including Paulson and cricket bookie Vinod Ashrani alias Vinod Chembur have been arrested in connection with the murder so far.
During interrogation, Paulson allegedly told the police that he had procured the SIM cards from one of his acquaintances. “We are looking for the middle man who provided these cards to Paulson,” said Roy.
Starting work as Rajan’s driver, Paulson soon became the chauffeur of his aide Bandya Mama alias Pradip Margudkar, following Rajan’s escape to Dubai. Paulson’s role in Rajan gang came to the fore following the infamous Christmas bash at Chembur club on December 25, 2009.
The pictures and videos of the party leaked to the media showed some police officials partying with the gangsters. Following the incident, Paulson was expelled from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) where he had been allotted a local-level post.