Notorious gangster Ravi Pujari who is wanted in many heinous crimes, including murder and extortion, was brought in the early hours of Monday from the Western African nation of Senegal to Bengaluru, police said.

Pujari who was in an Air France flight that landed around 1 am at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport, was shepherded by a team of officials including senior IPS officers. Authorities waited for all passengers to deboard before escorting Pujari out. A heavy security blanket had been thrown over the airport.

According to sources in the Karnataka police, Pujari was taken from the airport directly to the police interrogation unit at Madiwala where he underwent a medical check-up. “That is a standard procedure. He will be produced at a court in the city where we will seek custody,” said a police officer who did not want to be named.

Pujari, who was arrested in South Africa last week, has 39 cases registered against him in Mangaluru and 37 cases in Bengaluru alone, apart from several other cases across the country including in Mumbai.

He was arrested in Senegal in West Africa in January 2019 but he jumped bail and fled to South Africa, where he was allegedly involved in drug trafficking and extortion racket.

Indian Intelligence sources said he was hiding under the identity of Anthony Fernandes, a Burkina Faso passport holder, and was located in a remote village of South Africa. On a tip-off from the Indian external intelligence agency, the Senegal police flew to South Africa last week and arrested the 52-year-old gangster. A team of officials, including senior IPS officers from his hometown Karnataka, where he is booked in 79 cases.

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