Thane Crime Branch on Tuesday said that they were investigating underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's involvement in the alleged extortion racket operating in Maharashtra led by his brother, Iqbal Kaskar.
Kaskar was arrested on Monday evening over allegations of extortion. He was nabbed from his sister Haseena Parker's house in Nagpada by encounter specialist and Anti-Extortion Cell's senior inspector Pradeep Sharma.
"Three others — Iqbal Parkar, drug dealer Mohammad Hussain Khwaja Shaikh, and Fernando — were with Kaskar during his arrest. We have brought them for questioning. The case has been registered with Kasarvadavali police station. The complainant had been facing extortion since 2014. Around Rs 30 lakh was extorted, along with four flats worth Rs 5 crore, from the complainant. Not just cash, but even flats were taken in the form of extortion. One of the accused still stays in one of the flats in Rosa Bella building," Commissioner of Police Paramveer Singh said during a media briefing.
Out of the four flats, three were sold and one was registered in the name of Sayyad, who was staying in it for the last few years, the senior police officer said.
A few days ago, an extortion case was registered on the basis of the complaint by the builder at Thane's Kasarwadavali police station under IPC section 384 (extortion), 386
(extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt) and 387 (putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion). Later, the case was handed over to the Thane Police's anti-extortion cell.
The arrested persons were to be produced in Thane Court on Tuesday afternoon.
"It is being examined by the crime branch if they should be booked under MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act). This extortion racket was being operated under the name of Dawood Ibrahim. His involvement will be investigated. If we figure out his involvement, he will be booked," Singh said.
"One of the persons arrested is also a drug addict. It will be one of our angles of investigation whether the drug dealer was there for dealing or supplying," the police official said.
According to the preliminary investigation, police have noted 10-20 cases of the gang's extortion activities. "According to inputs, one of the builders from Vashi was so afraid that he had to leave the city. We have information on this. If there is a money laundering angle, we'll involve the Enforcement Directorate. Names of some local politicians have also come up. Few are local corporators or of higher posts," he said.
Singh also said that threats were given under the name of Dawood's gang. "Sometimes shooters were brought from outside the city. People from Bihar were brought in to force owners to vacate properties. Kaskar was involved in making calls. We have the information. The flats will be seized," the Commissioner of Police said.
Singh said that Kaskar had been involved in three-four cases before his arrest on Monday. He said that Kaskar was directly involved in the extortion case. "The involved flats are right in front of us. There is strong evidence and we will produce a foolproof case in front of the court. Till now, we were encouraging victims to speak up. Now, we are confident that other victims will also come forward to disclose further details," he said.
Two aides of Iqbal Kaskar, the brother of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, were also arrested on Tuesday in connection with an extortion case, a senior police official said.
Mumtaz Sheikh and Israr Ali Jamil Sayyad, who were earlier detained, were formally placed under arrest.
In 2003, Kaskar was deported from Dubai to Mumbai to face trial in a murder and the Sara Sahara case, which concerned the illegal construction of two shopping complexes on government land near Mumbai's Crawford Market.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Sep 19, 2017 15:40:38 IST