Underworld don Ravi Pujari, who was detained in Senegal on Thursday, was living under a false identity with a fake passport from Burkina Faso, Indian intelligence officials said. Ravi was caught inside a barber shop in Dakar and detained by Senegal's police force for identification, as he was masquerading as a man named Antony Fernandez, with a fake passport from Burkina Faso.
The Mumbai Crime Branch claimed that the don was picked up from a hotel based on information provided by them. Gujarat ATS officials meanwhile claimed that the information that led to the don's arrest was provided by Akash Shetty, his aide, who was arrested in Gujarat, reported The New Indian Express. Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy called it a success for the coalition government in the state.
"State Additional General of Police (ADGP) for Intelligence Amar Kumar Pandey kept track of Ravi since June first in Burkina Faso and later in Senegal where he shifted with wife and children and was operating a restaurant chain in partnership with locals," said an official statement of the Karnataka government.
Though Amar lost track of Ravi alias Fernandez in Burkina Faso, he found him subsequently in Dakar and alerted Indian Ambassador to Senegal Rajeev Kumar in order to arrest him with the help of the local police.
"The Senegal Interior Minister and its Director of Judicial Police arrested Ravi from a barber shop in Dakar and his original identity was found," said the statement.
Though it has been 12 days since Ravi was arrested in Dakar, the Karnataka government has no clue when he will be extradited to India and flown to Bengaluru or Mangaluru on the state's west coast where he operated.
"Ravi carried out his criminal activities across four coastal states of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat since 2001, employing sharpshooters to attack targets for extorting huge sums of money," said the statement.
The don used to select the place of attack and targets for extortion from those referred by his contacts in India. His victims included rich doctors, real estate agents, business magnates, jewellers, actors from Hindi and Kannada films, mining barons, politicians and commodity merchants.
With IANS inputs