Fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari who is wanted in many heinous crimes, including murder and extortion, was brought to Bengaluru in the early hours of Monday from Senegal, police said. Later in the day, he was produced before the 1st Additional City Metropolitan Magistrate's (ACMM) court which remanded him to police custody till March 7.
A former close aide of India's most wanted and mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, Dawood Ibrahim and gangster Chhota Rajan, Pujari was brought under tight police security by an Air France flight.
A team of police officers from the state including Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Amar Kumar Pandey and Bengaluru Joint Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil went to Senegal to bring him.
Thanking Indian authorities, government and the Supreme Court of Senegal for the extradition, Pandey said, â€œThe whole extradition process in Dakar (capital of Senegal) took two days and on February 22 at 10 pm Senegal time, custody of the fugitive Ravi Pujari was handed over to Indian authorities under due procedures."
The gangster was recently nabbed in South Africa in a joint operation by the SA police and Senegal security agencies, reportedly on a tip from Indian intelligence agencies, and was later extradited to Senegal, official sources said.
At the time of his arrest in Senegal, he had a Burkina Faso passport with a false identity of Anthony Fernandes, the sources said.
He was arrested by Senegal authorities last year and Indian counterparts had tried their best to get hold of him but failed as a local court there granted him bail.
The gangster then jumped bail, fled Senegal and holed up in South Africa, sources added.
Pujari, involved in at least 97 criminal cases in Karnataka, including 47 from Bengaluru alone, was running organised extortion rackets in the state and other parts of the country.
There was an Interpol red corner notice against Pujari, who is wanted in multiple cases including murder, attempt to murder and extortion.
He is said to be involved in a double murder at Shabnam Developers at Tilak Nagar here in February 2007, allegedly as the developer refused to pay him extortion money.