Mafia don Ravi Pujari sent to police custody till March 9


A special court in Mumbai on Tuesday sent gangster Ravi Pujari brought here from Bengaluru, to police custody till March 9 in a 2016 firing case, officials said.

Absconding since years, Pujari was extradited from the west African nation of Senegal in February 2020 and was lodged in a Bengaluru jail in connection with several cases in which he was wanted by the Indian authorities.

Last Saturday, a Mumbai Police team had gone to Bengaluru on Saturday after a Karnataka Court allowed Pujari’s transfer to the Maharashtra capital to face charges under the firing case.

Brought here by road this morning by a team of the Anti-Extortion Cell, Pujari was produced before the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Special Judge D. Kothalikar who sent him to police custody for a fortnight.

Pujari, 53, hails from Udupi district of Karnataka and allegedly operated an extortion racket from foreign locations targeting prominent businessmen and film personalities.

Seven other co-accused in the 2016 Vile Parle firing case at the famed Gajalee Restaurant – a sea-food eatery haunted by celebs – for extortion purposes, are currently in jail.

A Special Team probing the case will now grill Pujari who is likely to be kept at the Crime Branch lockup at the Mumbai Police headquarters.

On the run since several years, he was tracked to South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso and other countries where he was engaged in businesses with local partners.

Back home, Pujari has nearly 100 serious cases lodged against him in Karnataka alone, besides, four dozen in Mumbai, and more by the police in Kerala, Gujarat and other states.