Engineer-turned-gangster Kumar Krishna Pillai, who is wanted in Mumbai for several cases of murder and extortion, is likely to be extradited from Singapore in the first week of June, officials said.
A court in Singapore, where Pillai was arrested in February this year, has cleared the decks for his extradition and the Mumbai Police have formed a team of five crime branch officers to bring him back to India.
Pillai was apprehended from his Singapore residence in early February after Mumbai Police tipped off the Interpol about his presence there. The tip-off came after he was reportedly kept under surveillance for at least a month and was apprehended from his residence in the presence of his wife.
Pillai lived in Singapore as an import-export businessman and reportedly also owns a restaurant there.
The gangster still has a 15-day window to appeal before a higher court against the lower court ruling.
Crime branch officials, however, said that the probability of the gangster appealing before a higher court is little as June 2 period is the last date when Pillai can move his petition.
“The committal court’s ruling came on May 18, which was subsequently informed to us. Pillai has not yet appealed before the higher court and if he does not, we will have him in Mumbai in the first week of June,” a crime branch officer said.
Officials added that the lower courts in Singapore go into the nitty-gritty of cases before them and if he opts to appeal before a higher court, the chances of his extradition order getting struck down are more.
It will, however, prolong the process of getting his custody by a few more weeks.
The crime branch sought his extradition on the basis of three cases including extortion and two cases of attempt to murder. There is a total of six cases against Pillai.
In May, senior crime branch official visited Tamil Nadu to gather more details about his background and his relatives staying there. Those details were also put up before the Singaporean court, officials said adding that all these things including his criminal record and fingerprints helped clinch the order in India’s favour.
The five-member team headed by a deputy commissioner of police (DCP) will leave for Singapore after June 2. The gangster is likely to be brought back to India on a commercial airline along with the police team, however, a final decision is yet to be taken on the same.
Before the team leaves for Singapore, authorities there will issue an extradition warrant in Pillai name, which will be sent to Mumbai Police via the Interpol and the ministry of external affairs (MEA). The team will carry a copy of the warrant to get Pillai’s custody, completing the process of extradition.
Born in an affluent family in Vikhroli, Pillai was a textile engineer before he joined gangster Amar Naik’s gang in 1994. His father Krishna Pillai, a club owner, was killed after he refused to sell his club to a local corporator.
His mother runs a school in Vikhroli (E), started by her husband.
Dreams of avenging his father death drew Pillai to organised crime. He was so determined to avenge his father’s death that he vowed not to wear footwear till he had eliminated the killers.
He left Amar Naik’s gang and is alleged to have planned the murder of Sunil Khatau, owner of Byculla’s Khatau Mills, in 1994.
The last case against Pillai and his men dates back to 2013 when he made extortion calls to then MLA Mangesh Sangle demanding Rs 25 lakh alleging he was redeveloping property in Vikhroli.
Pillai was arrested around 1998 but was later released on bail. That was the last anyone heard of him. Police sources say Pillai left the country for Hong Kong.