Suresh Pujari made threat calls to 25 businessmen in and around Mumbai
Pujari’s aide, Harish Kotian enlisted a friend’s help to contact various people in Mumbai, Thane and Ulhasnagar to collect details regarding potential targetsmumbai Updated: Jan 22, 2018 14:22 IST
After the arrest of five members of Suresh Pujari’s gang, interrogations revealed that twenty five businessmen in Mumbai and the neighbouring Thane district received threatening phone calls from the gangster.
Several businessmen continued to receive these phone calls following the gunshot firing at a hotel employee in Bhiwandi on January 10, with Pujari threatening a similar firing if the extortion money was not doubled.
Police officials said that since Pujari made the calls via the internet, his location has been traced to multiple countries.
On Friday, the Anti Extortion Cell of the Mumbai crime branch arrested Harish Kotian, 30, Sanket Dalvi, 25, Prathmesh Kadam, 22, Noormohammed Khan, 20 and Aniket Thakur, 25. The arrest had been made in connection with the firing at Bhiwandi , threating the owner, and planning to ‘bump off’ a South Mumbai-based businessman for extortion.
According to sources, Kotian enlisted a friend’s help to contact various people in Mumbai, Thane and Ulhasnagar to collect details regarding potential targets. “Kotian’s friend sought to settle some scores with the South Mumbai-based businessman, and hence gave his details to Pujari’s gang,” said a crime branch official.
Sanket Dalvi attempted to commit suicide while in police custody by using a piece of broken glass, and is currently undergoing treatment at the hospital. DCP Dilip Sawant confirmed this, stating that “hardened criminals tend to use such tactics to avoid investigation.”
Officials of Mumbai Crime Branch said that they may soon invoke the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) against the five arrested accused. Invoking the MCOCA will help control future activities by the gang, said DCP Sawant.
Victims should come forward and lodge complaints so that we can tighten our noose on the gang, said the police.