The Thane police on Wednesday invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Iqbal Kaskar and four of his aides in connection with the first of the three cases of extortion registered against him.
Under the act, it would be difficult for the accused to get bail. Apart from Kaskar, the other four accused who will face MCOCA charges are, Shakeel Shaikh alias Chhota Shakeel, Israr Sayyed, Mumtaz Shaikh and Pankaj Gangar.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhishek Trimukhe said: “MCOCA has been applied against Chhota Shakeel, Iqbal Kaskar and three other accused.”
An officer said that of three FIRs registered against Kaskar, MCOCA has been invoked in the first extortion case registered at the Kasarwadavali police station in Thane on a complaint filed by a builder. In the first case, a builder had approached the Thane police alleging that Kaskar, Shaikh and Sayyed had threatened him and extorted four flats and Rs 30 lakh from him for settling a dispute.
During the course of investigation, the Thane police said the extorted money was sent to Shakeel through hawala network by Borivali-based matka king Pankaj Gangar. An officer said it became easy to invoke the act after Shakeel was named as an accused, as the latter has several cases registered against him. The Thane police have sought details of the past records of Shakeel from the Mumbai Police.
After the first case, the Thane police had registered two more FIRs against Kaskar on charges of extortion. In the third FIR, the police also named Kaskar’s brothers, Anees Ibrahim and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, as wanted accused. Currently, the accused are in the custody of the Thane police till October 14 in connection with the second FIR registered against them at the behest of a Thane-based jeweller.