THE THANE police have initiated the process of issuing a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against underworld gangster Suresh Pujari who has become “active” over the last year and a half, making several extortion calls to builders and cable operators in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.
In Thane alone, there are at least 17 offences, in which he has been named as a wanted accused. Police suspect he could be holed up anywhere in Africa, Australia or Malaysia.
An officer with the Thane police said Pujari, who hails from Ghatkopar, was working with underworld gangster Ravi Pujari in the past.
Earlier, he operated primarily out of Mumbai. When the Mumbai Police Crime Branch started going after him, he started operating out of Ulhasnagar.
Eventually in 2007, he fled India but continued making extortion calls, an officer said.
“Over the last 18 months, he claimed to have been working independently. He rose to prominence after it came to light that he had ordered a hit on Sachanand Kariya, owner of Ulhasnagar-based Sachu interent and cable,” the officer said.
Soon after two of his men were gunned down, Suresh called up mediapersons and informed them that he had ordered the hit since Kariya had refused to pay him `5 crore extortion money.
“While Pujari claimed to be working independently, we suspect that he is still allied to Ravi Pujari,” a senior officer said.
The Thane police are now compiling a list of cases registered against Suresh and have found 17 cases in Thane jurisdiction so far. “If we include cases registered against him in Mumbai, we think it will take the number of cases against him around 50,” the officer said.
He added that they have got a warrant issued from a Thane court and are in the process of sending the file to the CBI, which is the nodal body of Interpol in India.
“We are hoping that the procedure of issuing the RCN is completed within a month,” the officer said.
He added, “This will ensure that he cannot move freely and restrict his movement to one country.”