Hours after one of India’s most wanted criminals was brought back to the country, a police officer who was instrumental in tracking and dragging back Ravi Pujari divulged crucial details about the days and months leading up to his arrest and consequent extradition.
Karnataka State police Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Amar Kumar Pandey, on Monday, stated that the Supreme Court of Senegal, on February 19, rejected the last legal option available for Ravi Pujari under their law and ordered for his immediate extradition.
"Pujari had acquired citizenship in Burkina Faso where he stayed for 12 years as a businessman (textile and restaurant business). Later on, he moved to Senegal and started a restaurant by the name of 'Maharaja'.
He continued with his business of giving threats to people from the film industry, businessmen, builders, developers, doctors, and other professionals", he said.
Ravi Pujari has been missing since 1994 after he was accused of several high profile murders in Mumbai. He was untraceable and then escaped to Nepal, to Bangkok, then from there to Uganda, Burkina Faso and then finally Senegal.
"After his escape to Nepal, he got a fake Indian passport, created with the help of passport brokers, where he has shown his home address as in Mysore. By using this fake passport he traveled to Burkina Faso.
He was a very influential person in Burkina Faso. After he got a Burkina Faso passport, he discarded the Indian passport. He even traveled to the USA by using the Burkina Faso passport.
His age is 59 years as per the passport (Burkina Faso), with his date of birth mentioned being: 25 January 1961", Amar Kumar Pandey divulged.
Pujari’s annual income was reportedly 25 to 30 Lakhs, according to police sources.
The underworld gangster was first identified on 18th Dec 2018 and this identification was beyond reasonable doubts, although reconfirmation happened on 1st Jan 2019. He was living in Senegal under the name of Anthony Fernandes.
Debunking theories that Pujari had skipped bail and fled from Senegal, Pandey said, ‘He was arrested on 19th, January 2019 and was sent to prison until he was arrested on 22 February 2020. The extradition process took two days to complete’.
On Monday, after a brief medical examination, he was produced before 1st ACMM and will remain in police custody till March 7. Once the Karnataka police complete the process of filing the supplementary charge sheet, other agencies concerned who would like to investigate would be given an opportunity to them.
Pujari has 97 cases in Karnataka alone of which appropriately 47 cases were filed in Bengaluru. Several other cases have been filed in Mumbai (Thane) and certain districts of Gujarat too.