Underworld network cracked with arrest of Machacha gangsters: Police

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Mumbai, Jan 9 (UNI) With the arrest of four associates of gangster Fahim Machacha, a close aide to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, the city police has got a big clue of the gangster network in the metropolis, a top police officer of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) today claimed.

The police officer was a member of the raiding party, who had nabbed the gangsters from Goregaon-Vikroli link road in the city suburbs last night.

The officer on condition of anonymity told UNI that they had gathered important information about the Machacha gang network in the city, specially his local contacts and distribution of money recieved through extortions.

Based on the information we are expecting to arrest few more top gangsters soon, the officer said.

He further said among the arrested, most were in regular contact with Machacha, who is believed to be in Dubai or in Karachi in Pakistan.

While the accused were produced today at the Mazgaon Court in south Mumbai for seeking remand, one of the suspects was also picked up by police who is believed to have passed on information to his other gang members.

The officer added that Machacha, who is wanted in several cases including extortion, was arrested in 1995 and was later released on bail.

He was re-arrested in two cases, registered by Mumbai Crime Branch as well as by Dongri Police Station, from the international terminal while trying to flee to Dubai, but was again granted bail.

He soon fled after being released on bail.

Acting on an information that members belonging to Machacha gang would be coming to eliminate a businessman at Goregaon last night, the ATS sleuths had laid a trap on the Goregaon-Vikroli link road and nabbed them.

They were identified as Ganesh Arun Pote, Mohammed Mukim Hussain Sheikh, Govind Eknath Padtare and Ajit Shantakaram Gadekar.

Police have seized three magazines, one country made revolver, 18 live cartridges and a Maruti car from them.

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