Dawood aide’s police custody extended till February 18Updated: Feb 14, 2020 00:54 IST
The Esplanade court on Thursday extended the police custody of Tariq Abdul Karim Merchant, alias Tariq Parveen — an alleged aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim — till February 18. Parveen, who was booked in an extortion case for allegedly threatening a dry fruit businessman in south Mumbai in 2013, was arrested on February 9.
The anti-extortion cell (AEC) of the Mumbai crime branch told the court that they found an audio clip related to the extortion case, wherein the accused can be heard talking to the victim. “We need to verify the clip and his custody is required to match it with his voice sample,” said an AEC officer. AEC also submitted that they required Parveen’s custody to question him in front of arrested gangster Ejaz Lakdawala and his associate Salim Penwala, alias Salim Maharaj, to verify the facts.
According to the police, in 2013, Lakdawala allegedly threatened and demanded ₹2 crore from the dry fruit businessman. The victim approached Parveen for help and the latter assured him help to reduce the extortion money. The discussion allegedly took place in Parveen’s office where Maharaj was present. Parveen demanded ₹10 lakh from the victim, who paid Parveen’s man ₹3 lakh. Later, Parveen and Maharaj called the victim many times for the rest of the money, owing to which he fled to Gujarat, said a crime branch officer.
Parveen’s lawyer, Aftab Mohammad Qureshi, argued that the accused had already been in police custody for five days and there had been no progress in the investigation. “The crime branch is placing previous records of the accused to show his criminal background and extend the remand, but most of the previous cases have been disposed, and the accused has been acquitted in those cases,” submitted Qureshi.
He questioned why AEC didn’t question Parveen in front of Lakdawala and Maharaj since they were already in police custody. He requested the court to grant judicial custody to Parveen.