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Deported Afghan national living in city with a new identity arrested

ByManish K Pathak
Feb 23, 2024 07:18 AM IST

Afghan national arrested in Mumbai for illegal stay, money lending, and identity change. Police investigating source of income and possible drug connections.

MUMBAI: The crime branch on Thursday arrested a 38-year-old Afghan national for allegedly staying illegally in the city for over a decade. The police officials said the accused Habibullha Prang, a native of Zurmat district of Paktia Province in Afghanistan, 136km from Kabul, was earlier deported from Mumbai in 2011 but he returned to the city in 2017 and living here after assuming a new identity as Zaheer Khan.

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During the investigation, the police learnt that he worked as an illegal moneylender and had advanced around 20 lakh to small traders in the Wadala area on ten% monthly interest, said a police officer. We are trying to find out his source of income and also probing drug angles if he is connected, added the officer.

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The police have registered a case against him with the RAK Marg police station and the case was transferred to unit 5 for further legal investigation. He was produced in the court and remanded in police custody till February 26.

According to the police, Prang came to Mumbai in 2007 on a visitor’s visa for one year. Once his visa expired in 2008, he started staying illegally in the Wadala area where he had given money to the hawkers and shopkeepers on interest. In 2011 he was arrested by Mumbai for staying illegally in the city and after the legal process he was deported from the city. In 2017, Prang came to Mumbai again and this time he changed his identity and started staying by changing his name.

Based on the reliable information, officials of unit 5 conducted a raid at his residence in Wadala and he was taken into custody. During the search, the police found a forged PAN card and driving licence, said deputy commissioner of police Datta Nalawade of the crime branch.

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