The Crime Branch of the Navi Mumbai police invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case involving Vijay Thopte (36), a convict in the trade union leader Datta Samant murder case, where he along with his accomplices were planning to threaten builders and extort money from them.
The police had arrested Thopte and three others, who were identified as Jagannath Jaiswal alias Deshmukh alias Anna (39) from Sewri, Sandeep Tiwrekar (36) from Dadar and Deepak Pednekar (35) from Prabhadevi, on May 20.
The police had also recovered a 7.65 bore pistol and two rounds from them.
The police said they had got information that members of gangster Guru Satam gang were planning to meet in Vashi to make a plan to threaten builders. “We have invoked the stringent Act as Satam has many cases against him and figures as an absconding accused,” said inspector Avinash Dharmadhikari.
On July 25, 2000, the sessions court had given life imprisonment to Thopte, Ganpat Bamne and Arun Londhe for killing Samant on January 16, 1997 at Powai. Londhe died in jail.
Thopte, who was lodged in Yerawada jail, was granted parole on May 18, 2005, but he jumped parole.