Thane police sources have said that gangster Suresh Pujari arrested in the Philippines last week had around 38 cases of extortion and firing registered against him across Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and Mira-Bhayandar. Pujari was on the run for the past 14 years.
The source said: "Apart from the 38 cases, five cases are under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). A lookout circular was issued against him in 2016.
Additional commissioner of police (Thane) Ashok Morale informed that Pujari was arrested in two cases in 1998.
Morale further said that Pujari has around 23 cases in Thane itself and the police will take his custody in the pending cases.
A police source from Thane said, "Pujari was working as a waiter in 1995 with Diamond bar in Ulhasnagar. Later in the year he also started a video parlour in Ambarnath. He respected his wife and followed her advice. He wished to be like gangster Ravi Pujari and used his name to establish his empire."
Pujari was first booked in an attempt to murder case in Vitthalwadi in 1993. He was booked for a dacoity and kidnapping case in Ulhasnagar in 2002. Pujari was booked by the DN Nagar police in an attempt to murder case where he used weapons in Andheri in 2006. The same year, the Mulund police also booked him for allegedly threatening a person.
Pujari has different cases in Thane for threatening and firing at hoteliers and cable operators across Ulhasnagar and Bhiwandi. He also has cases registered against him for threatening current housing minister Jitendra Awhad, BJP MLA Ganpat Gaikwad, and Omi Kalani, son of gangster Pappu Kalani.
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