A local court remanded in judicial custody the alleged kingpin of mafia arrested on Saturday in connection with the seizure of the protected red sanders in the city worth Rs. 9 crore.
Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Esplanade sent Mohammed Ali Abu Bakar Shaikh in judicial custody till December 19.
“As soon as Ali was produced before the Magistrate, we told the court that he was already granted protection from arrest by the sessions court,” his lawyer Tariq Sayyed said.
Before his arrest on Saturday, Ali had moved for pre-arrest bail in the sessions court, he said.
“The sessions court had adjourned the matter till Tuesday and granted him protection from arrest till the next date of hearing,” Sayyed added.
The magistrate’s court on Sunday directed Ali to complete the formalities as directed by the Sessions Court. “He will be released once the formalities of the surety are completed,” Sayyed added.
In a joint operation by the Coast Guard and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), 23 tonnes of red sanders worth Rs. 9 crore had been seized on Friday while it was being smuggled to Dubai through the sea route.
The two central agencies handed over the 20 persons involved in the smuggling to Mumbai Police Crime Branch, which placed them under arrest yesterday.
The barge MV Ganga Sagar sailed from Mumbai with around 23 tonnes of red sanders for transfer at sea to the dhow ‘Al Marwan, 10’ which sailed from Veraval in Gujarat showing consignment of 100 metric tonnes of maize for Dubai.
The arrangement was that MV Ganga Sagar and Al Marwan will meet at Bombay High to transfer the 23 tonnes highly valued illegal consignment.
Before the gang could execute the plan, the Coast Guard and the DRI nabbed them.