Iqbal Kaskar extortion case: Mumbai police arrest matka operator
According to a source, Gangar, who runs lottery and cricket betting syndicates in Gujarat and Rajasthan, has been financing Dawood aide Chhota Shakeel’s crime syndicate since 2008.
The anti-extortion cell of the Thane police on Thursday arrested Pankaj Gangar alias Pankaj Shah, 54, an illegal lottery (matka) operator, in connection with the extortion case involving gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar.
This is the fourth arrest in the case, after the arrest of Iqbal, his aides – Mumtaz Shaikh and Israr Jamilali Sayed – for extorting Rs90 lakh from a developer in Thane in 2013.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Abhishek Trimukhe said, “Gangar was arrested from his flat near Chamunda Circle in Borivli (West). He has been remanded in police custody until October 5.”
According to a source, Gangar, who runs lottery and cricket betting syndicates in Gujarat and Rajasthan, has been financing Dawood aide Chhota Shakeel’s crime syndicate since 2008. “He used to transfer between Rs10-15 lakh [protection money] to Chhota Shakeel through hawala every month,” sources said.
The money would be handed over to a local hawala operator, identified as RC Angadia (an alias), who acted would send it to Shakeel’s contacts overseas as well as in Mumbai and Thane, said police.
Sources said the money obtained from Gangar was sent to two Patna-based shooters -- identified as Guddu and Shami -- to purchase firearms to threatened the Thane developer. “Angadia gave the money to Mumbra resident Mumtaz Sheikh, who is originally from Patna, who then roped in two shooters,” sources said.
Sources said Gangar was a partner of former matka king, Pappu Sawla, with whom he parted ways in 2007. Gangar was named as an accused in the murder of another matka operator, Vasant Shah, in 1998. In 2006, Sawla and Gangar were arrested in connection with the murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar, in which underworld kingpin Arun Gawli was the main accused. Gangar and Sawla were acquitted in the case.
“Gangar has been paying protection money to various gangs depending on their hold. Initially, he paid Chhota Rajan, after which he turned to Gawli. After Gawli’s arrest, he started financing Shakeel,” sources said.