The handler of gangster Chhota Rajan’s finances, Santosh Mahadev Sawant aka Abu Sawant, was deported to India, in a joint operation by the Central Bureau of India (CBI) and the Mumbai Crime Branch.
The Crime Branch will soon file a petition in the CBI court seeking Abu Sawant’s custody, informed a Mumbai Crime Branch senior officer. CBI took Abu Sawant into custody in Delhi. Mumbai Crime Branch and CBI have separate cases registered against Abu Sawant. Primarily, Abu Sawant will be in CBI custody, and later, the Mumbai Crime Branch will take over his custody, said officials.
Abu Sawant, who had reportedly been living in Singapore, was working for Chhota Rajan in the guise of a hotelier. Abu Sawant has been associated with Chhota Rajan’s gang for over 22 years.
Abu Sawant was one of Chhota Rajan’s closest aides. Abu Sawant was number two in the gang after D K Rao. D K Rao had the task of carrying out gang-related crimes and fights while Sawant started handling the accounts of Rajan’s black money, said the police.
When Chhota Rajan was attacked in 2000, Ravi Pujari, Bunty Pandey and his close friends Vijay Shetty and Ejaz Lakda Wala left him, said officials. According to reports, Abu Sawant later joined hands with D K Rao. Being the son of a real estate agent by profession, he was an expert in managing property-related works and took over property dealing and finance of Rajan Company completely, informed the police.
Reportedly, the crime branch has a non-bailable warrant out against Abu Sawant, who was reported absconding since being released from jail after his arrest in a case.
The CBI claimed Abu Sawant’s custody in Delhi in a 2016 extortion case, said officials. Later, on April 18, he was produced before the Delhi court.
Paperwork for his extradition started in 2000, and a Red Corner notice of the Interpol was issued against him.
After a decade of focused effort, he was finally deported after a decade. He is booked in extortion cases and has a case under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Abu Sawant was involved in identifying extortion targets in the country, including Mumbai, contacting them, threatening and extorting them in the name of protection money, and then arranging bail for the gang members if caught, informed police.
(with inputs from ANI)