The anti extortion cell of the Mumbai police crime branch is probing whether there was a larger motive behind Santosh Shetty gang member Anil Chander taking the risk of trying to enter the country despite a lookout notice issued against him. Chander, who has been wanted in a kidnapping and extortion case since 2012, was taken into custody by the Crime Branch on June 30 this year.
Chander was allegedly trying to enter the country via Delhi, but was detained as soon as he landed at the New Delhi International Airport due to a Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against him by the Mumbai Police. “The fact that Chandar tried to enter the country in spite of the LOC is suspicious and we are probing to find out if there is a larger plan at work. We have been interrogating him consistently, but he keeps claiming that he only came to India because he was missing his family terribly,” said a crime branch officer.
In his interrogation, Chander has allegedly said that his aged mother’s health had been deteriorating steadily since the last two years which he spent in Bangkok, and he could not tolerate staying away from her any longer. “I had also not seen my daughters, who are now in college, for a long time and ultimately, I decided to enter Indian via Delhi instead of Mumbai, as I knew I had a case against me in Mumbai. I intended to go to Jalandhar from Delhi,” he is alleged to have told officers during interrogation.
“We are investigating several possibilities, including whether he wanted to get in touch with old associates in India for a specific reason. It is hardly difficult to get in touch with people even while in police custody,” the officer added. About his antecedents, Chander has told the police that he used to be a diamond merchant working in Opera House and came into contact with Shetty through a mutual acquaintance.
In January 2012, a businessman from Mumbai was called to Bangkok by Shetty and Chander, where he was assaulted severely and pressurised into giving out a loan at lower interest rates than what he usually charged. The accused also confined the businessman in a room and demanded Rs 15 crore from him, and he ultimately managed to escape after promising to arrange for the money as soon as he got home. After returning to Mumbai, he approached the Anti Extortion Cell.
“Chander shifted to Bangkok for good after learning that we had registered a case against him. However, before calling the complainant to Bangkok, Chander had met him at a hotel in Vile Parle several times, and we are currently making inquiries at the hotel and nearby locations to gather more evidence,” said another officer.