A childhood friend and aide of notorious gangster Ravi Pujari was arrested recently, for allegedly extorting jewellers and businessmen in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
The anti extortion cell of the Thane Police arrested Prakash Shankar Baagam, alias Pakya, on December 21.
“Baagam is a childhood friend and trusted associate of Pujari. He would allegedly provide details like mobile numbers, residential addresses, office addressed and email Ids of the victims to the alleged gangster. Pujari, in turn, would call them from various international phone numbers,” said Pandit Kendre, assistance police commissioner of anti extortion cell, unit 1.
Baagam is an Andheri resident and was earlier reportedly working for alleged gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawali. However, when most of Gawali’s alleged sharp shooters were killed in a police encounter, he went underground.
Later, he shifted to the Pujari gang.
Baagam was wanted in various crimes like murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and extortion. He was arrested when the police were probing the case of an Ambernath jeweller, who got an extortion call from someone demanding Rs 50 lakh.
“We received information that Baagam is going to Big Bazaar in Kapurbawdi, Thane, when we laid a trap and arrested him. We have also arrested two other accused.