MUMBAI CRIME branch on Friday arrested builder Wasim Shaikh, the alleged key conspirator in the murder of businessman Abdul Munaf Shaikh (55), who was stabbed to death outside a mosque in Juhu on August 17. Police are in the lookout for Wasim’s brother and father, co-conspirators in the case.
Wasim, a business rival, had a tiff with Munaf over an SRA project and, thereafter, had decided to eliminate him, Senior Inspector Mahesh Desai of crime branch (unit IX) said. A history-sheeter, Abdul Latif Shaikh alias Sonu, who was arrested in connection with the case Tuesday, had been tasked to arrange a contract killer to execute the crime by Wasim, Desai said. Wasim has several cases registered against him, he added.
Latif had given the task to one Nadeem Shaikh, also a history-sheeter, police said. The duo had come to know each other when they were lodged in the Arthur Road Jail last year. On Monday, Nadeem had stabbed Munaf 12 times outside the Irla Mosque in Vile Parle. After his arrest on Wednesday, Nadeem told police that he received Rs 5 lakh for the crime.
“Wasim had given his scooty, using which Nadeem conducted recce and kept an eye on Munaf’s movements. The scooty has been recovered as well,” Desai said. Wasim is believed to have paid Rs 5 lakh to Nadeem for the contract killing.
The senior inspector said Latif had kept Nadeem at his office for six months, during which they plotted on ways to execute the crime. They then zeroed in on the businessman’s morning visits to the local mosque. While Munaf would be accompanied by a bodyguard throughout the day, he visited the mosque alone.
The 55-year-old businessman had twice written to the police – on October 12 last year and again on January 7 this year — stating his life was under threat. Police had conducted an inquiry in October last year.