Fugitive gangster Ejaz Lakdawala, wanted in connection with several cases of extortion and attempt to kill, has been arrested by Mumbai Police’s anti-extortion cell, a top official said on Thursday.
Lakdawala, 50, was detained at Patna by the anti-extortion cell with the help of Bihar Police on Wednesday. He was then brought to Mumbai and placed under arrest late Wednesday night, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve told reporters.
Once a close aid of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Lakdawala was wanted in at least 27 cases in Maharashtra, including 25 in Mumbai, he said, adding that as of now 80 people have come forward with complaints against him.
After being arrested, Lakdawala was produced in a Mumbai court which remanded him in police custody till January 21, the official said.
“He was wanted in various cases under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) cases. All these cases will be investigated concurrently,” he said.
In May 2004, Lakdawala was arrested by the Canadian Police in Ottawa.
A few years back he was believed to be somewhere in North America, although he frequently changed his locations to South East Asia as well.
A Red Corner notice was earlier issued against him.
On the operation to nab Lakdawala, Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjay Saxena said their efforts to nab the fugitive gangster were on since the last six months and the city police force was working closely with central agencies.
“Our efforts gained momentum after the arrest of Lakdawala’s daughter Shifa Shahid Shaikh at the Mumbai International Airport on December 28 while she was travelling to Nepal on a fake passport,” he said.
Shaikh was travelling with a passport in the name of Soniya Manish Advani, he said.
During her interrogation, police got some important information aboutLakdawala’s movements following which he was nabbed at Jakkanpur village in Patna, he said.
Lakdawala has been arrested on a complaint filed with the anti-extortion cell by a businessman from Khar in Mumbai. His daughter has also been arrested in the same case, the official said.
After splitting with fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, Lakdawala started operating with gangster Chhota Rajan. He, however, parted ways with Rajan in 2008 and started running his operations independently, Saxena said.
“We have information that he stayed in Canada, Malaysia, USA, London and Nepal and we will confirm this information during investigation,” he said.
He was operating under various fakes names, passports and travel documents, the official said.
“Mumbai Police will examine all those documents,” he added.