Gangster-turned-builder Ashwin Naik was arrested from central Mumbai for allegedly extorting Rs. 50 lakh from a city-based builder, police said.
“Wheelchair-bound Naik was arrested by the sleuths of Dadar Police station while accepting Rs. 50 lakh extortion money from a complainant builder. Naik was seated inside the car when he was arrested from Dadar area,” DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said.
53-year-old Naik had allegedly threatened the builder and demanded Rs. 50 lakh from him. The victim had lodged a complaint in this regard two days back, Kulkarni said.
“Naik personally came to receive the extortion sum,” DCP (Zone V) Mahesh Patil said.
Naik, an engineering graduate, was left paralysed after he was shot at in April 1994 by a rival gang on the premises of a sessions court at Fort in south Mumbai.
He had allegedly hatched the conspiracy to murder his corporator wife Nita while lodged in Tihar jail at Delhi. She was shot dead outside her house in Chinchpokli on November 13, 2000. However, in 2009, a Pune court acquitted him in the case.
Currently, Naik has three cases of extortion and threats registered against him in Mumbai, including the one in which he was held today.
According to Patil, police can evoke Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOCA) Act against Naik in this case.
The DCP said Naik has spent a decade in jail in connection with as many as 16 cases against him across the country, including extortions, narcotics and murders.
Naik was first arrested by West Bengal Police on August 1, 1999, while he was trying to cross the Indo-Bangla border.
Apart from jails in Mumbai, he was also lodged in Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail and Delhi’s Tihar jail.
The erstwhile gangster had taken the reins of the city’s underworld after the death of his elder brother Amar Naik, who was shot dead in a police encounter in the 1990s.