Mumbai: The Thane crime branch on Wednesday invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Iqbal Kaskar, Chhota Shakeel and three others in connection with the extortion case filed by a builder at the Kasarwadavli police station. The others are Mumtaz Shaikh, Israr Sayyad, Pankaj Gangar and henchmen Shammi and Guddu.
Kaskar, Sayyad, Shaikh and Gangar have been arrested recently while Chhota Shakeel and the two sharp shooters of the gang, Shammi and Guddu, are wanted in this case.
According to Abhishek Trimukhe, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Thane crime branch, “We have slapped MCOCA against all five accused in the first case of extortion registered against them at Kasarwadavli police station. As Shakeel’s role was established in the case, it became easy to invoke the tough law.” The police had been preparing the groundwork for the past two weeks for invoking MCOCA against the seven accused.
MCOCA is a stringent law which can be invoked only after the police can prove that it is the handiwork of an organised gang and the crime is committed for pecuniary gains.
It is also mandatory that already two separate chargesheets have been filed against the accused in the last 10 years. Once the MCOCA charges are invoked, the police is liable to get custody for the accused for a maximum period of 30 days as opposed to the 14-day limit under the Indian Penal Code. The accused is subjected to a minimum five years imprisonment and maximum of death sentence.
As per the legal procedure, the Thane police should file a chargesheet within 180 days as opposed to the 60 to 90 days window under the Indian Penal Code.
Kaskar was deported from the United Arab Emirates in 2003. He was operating his brother Dawood Ibrahim’s real estate business in the city, the police said. On September 18, the Thane anti-extortion cell arrested Kaskar, Mumtaz and Sayyad for extorting Rs 30 lakh from a builder in Thane.
Meanwhile, the police are investigating regarding the extortion amount invested by Kaskar at several properties in Goa. “We have found that Kaskar was using the extortion money for opening restaurants in Goa. We are in the process of establishing the money trail, “added Trimukhe.