The Dadar police arrested gangster Ashwin Naik on Sunday while he was extorting Rs 15 lakh from a builder.
To ensure that their plan to arrest him was successful, the Dadar police roped in 10 officers and several constables from neighbouring police stations for the operation.
Deputy commissioner of police (Zone 5) Mahesh Patil was put in charge.
He stationed teams of plainclothes cops at several spots around Bhawani Shankar Road, where the complainant’s office is located and where he was told to meet the gangster.
He also put in place a plan to intercept the gangster in case he tried to flee.
At 2 pm on Sunday, Naik and his four aides arrived at the spot where he was to meet the builder in two Innovas, one of which conducted a recce to make sure there were no policemen around.
Naik then telephoned the builder and called him to the spot. He was made to get inside the gangster’s Innova. Naik asked him about a few suspicious people in the area and took him for a short ride to check if any policemen were present.
The Innova then returned to the same spot at Bhawani Shankar Road and Naik told the builder to bring the money.
A police source said Naik and his men were unaware that DCP Patil had been following their Innova in a private vehicle.
The builder left and returned soon after with Rs 15 lakh – the first installment of the Rs 50 lakh that Naik had demanded. “Once he [Naik] took the bag of money, my team raided the car and arrested him and his men,” said DCP Patil.
According to a source, the police suspected Naik had been active since he was released from jail in 2009.
He has been concentrating on areas in south and central Mumbai for some time, and focusing on SRA projects.
The police will now check if Naik has threatened or extorted money from anyone else and look into whether he can be booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
The complainant’s partner, from whom Naik had earlier extorted Rs 25 lakh, has been made a witness in the case.