MBVV cops in Prague to bring back suspected killer of US model

Notably, a FBI team had also visited Kashimira in connection with the case in 2004

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Thursday, May 26, 2022, 09:48 AM IST
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Eighteen years after the erstwhile Thane (rural) police challenged the acquittal of Vipul Patel and Pragnesh Desai for their alleged involvement in the murder of USbased model Leona Swiderski, a team from the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police is in Prague to bring back Patel.

The action followed after a Bombay High Court bench comprising Justice Sadhna Jadhav and Justice NR Borkar in their order dated March 9, 2021, directed the issuance of non-bailable warrant (NBW) and a look out notice to be served against Patel and the same to be circulated at all airports. Desai is already in custody.

The court also directed the MBVV commissioner to personally look into the matter and make every possible effort to get the NBW executed and, at the same time, asked the state government to send a copy of the NBW to the UK Embassy.

On March 30 this year, the assistant public prosecutor (APP) placed a communication before the court in which the director of the International Department for Criminal Matters from the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic proposed to discuss the details of Patel’s surrender via Interpol channels with the Czech Republic’s law, within three months from the date of the commencement of extradition custody.

Meanwhile, the MBVV police communicated with the Interpol, the CBI and the Ministry for External Affairs to ensure a smooth extradition process to bring back Patel. “Our team, under the supervision of Commissioner of Police Sadanand Date and Deputy Commissioner of Police Amit Kale have been dedicatedly following up on the issue. We will return from Prague on May 27, following which both the accused – Patel and Desai – will be produced before the court,” said senior police inspector Sanjay Hazare while speaking to the Free Press Journal from Prague.

Swiderski was found dead on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway in Kashimira in February 2003, shortly after she landed at the Mumbai airport. Investigations revealed that Desai conspired with Patel and two others to murder Swiderski to claim benefits of her high value insurance policy.

Both were arrested for the crime but were acquitted by the sessions court Thane in September 2003. Notably, a FBI team had also visited Kashimira in connection with the case in 2004.

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