BALI/MUMBAI (TIP): Underworld don Chhota Rajan, who has been arrested after being on the run for over two decades, claimed on October that he did not surrender and wants to return to India.
There is intense speculation that the arrest of the gangster, who is wanted in over 75 heinous crimes ranging from murder, extortion to smuggling and drug trafficking, was part of a “deal” with Indian security agencies.
“I never surrendered. I want to go back to India. Don’t want to go to Zimbabwe,” the one-time trusted aide of terrorist and crime boss Dawood Ibrahim told reporters.
Rajan, one of India’s most wanted gangsters, was arrested in Indonesia’s tourist destination Bali on a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades.
Of these 75 cases, Rajan is facing four cases under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), one under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and over 20 cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act
Indian security agencies are likely to send a team of officials to Bali to bring back the gangster who has been in custody since Sunday.
The sources are tight-lipped about the arrangements to bring him back because of security concerns arising out of his fierce rivalry with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his gang.
They said agencies are working on more than one plan to bring back 55-year-old Rajan, once known as Dawood’s right hand man, factoring various permutations and combinations.
Rajan was traveling with the identity of Mohan Kumar with passport number G9273860 when he was apprehended at the airport in Bali, after arriving there on a Garuda Indonesia flight GA715, by the Indonesian Police on a tip-off from Australian authorities, they said.
The sources said Rajan was in touch with various police officials for the past six months seeking a passage to return to India as he feared for his life in Australia from Chhota Shakeel, a henchman of Dawood.
In 2000, there was an attempt on his life when Dawood’s men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape through the hotel’s roof.
According to serving and former police officers, who have dealt with the Mumbai underworld, arrest of Rajan is a major success and his questioning is expected to shed light on hitherto unknown facts related to cases linked to his syndicate.
Chhota Rajan assets worth over Rs 4,000 crore, claims Mumbai police
Mumbai Police officials estimate Chhota Rajan’s current net worth to be in the range of Rs 4,000-5,000 crore. Fifty per cent of the investments are in India, especially in Mumbai and its satellite towns, they say. “According to our reports, Rajan owns a hotel in China, a few jewellery shops in Singapore, Thailand and a hotel in Jakarta. He has also invested in diamond trade in African countries, especially Zimbabwe,” said a senior Mumbai Police official.
Sources claimed that Rajan tried to strike a deal with some officials from Zimbabwe to seek refuge in that country.
But Zimbabwe did not want to be seen giving refuge to anyone who was wanted in India. “We found that he asked for Z-plus protection which was denied by them,” claimed the official.
“The officials with whom Rajan negotiated promised to provide the best of health facilities but refused to extend security cover. Rajan suspected that he would eventually be tracked by the Dawood gang, and did not want to be attacked when he was at his weakest — while undergoing dialysis for kidney failure,” said a source.