A criminal with as many as 19 cases against him, for extortion, assault and attempt to murder, since 1991, surrendered before the Kurla court on Tuesday.
The Shivaji Nagar police who were on the lookout Atiq Shaikh, 38, for the past few years in connection with an extortion case, secured custody of him.
Other police stations, especially in the central suburbs, will be given custody after Shaikh's interrogation by Shivaji Nagar police.
Shaikh has been absconding for the past two years, said an officer from Shivaji Nagar police station. Shaikh has eight cases of extortion, two cases of attempt to murder and nine cases of assault and robbery registered against him.
Inspector A Valatkar from Shivaji Nagar police station said, "Shaikh is a resident of Bainganwadi in Govandi and is a goon who extorted money from local businessmen for protection. In 2008, we received a complaint against him for extortion after which we have been on the lookout for him."
When asked why Shaikh had surrendered after all this time, Valatkar said, "He told the court he wanted a chance to get rid of the criminal tag and was tired of living a life on the run. We asked for his custody in connection with the extortion case registered at our police station. The Kurla court has given us custody till December 20."
An officer from Shivaji Nagar police, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "We are hoping to get important leads from him in other cases registered at our police station."