New Delhi, Nov 7: Absconding underworld don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan, who had fled India in 1988 for Dubai, used three fake passports during his stay in Thailand, Australia and some southeast Asian countries.
Rajan got his first fake passport under the name Vijay Kadam in 1996 and went to Bangkok in Thailand and started living there.
Official sources said Rajan had been living in Bangkok on the same passport till 2000. That year the associates of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, his close friend before the 1993 Mumbai blasts conspiracy, attacked him at a hotel.
Rajan managed a dramatic escape by jumping from the first floor of the hotel, the sources said.
The CBI then got a tip-off through Interpol about the attack on Rajan by Dawood's men. The investigating agency also learned from Interpol about the fake passport being used by Rajan and registered a case in 2002, an official source said.
"On the same passport, Rajan travelled to South Africa and some other southeast Asian countries where he had a strong network."
Sources said Rajan feared getting arrested after the attack. He got an Indian passport (No.G9273860) made on the fake name of Mohan Kumar, resident of 107/B, Old MC Road, Azad Nagar, Mandya in Karnataka.
"Rajan got the passport from Harare in Zimbabwe."
Rajan landed in Australia on September 22, 2003 using the same passport, which was valid till July 7, 2018, and a tourist visa.
Also read: CBI gets Chhota Rajan's custody for 10 days
"Since 2003 to October 25, 2015, Rajan stayed in Australia on the same passport and fraudulently obtained several different visas to reside there. Later, he managed to get Australian residency," sources told IANS.
As per sources, the CBI received the information about Rajan's stay in Australia in May 2015 through the Australian Interpol when the agency did a review of major fugitives.
Meanwhile, the agency got a tip-off that Rajan's residency permit was expiring on October 31, 2015 and he was trying to get it extended.
"The CBI then managed to get his fingerprints. As soon as his identity was matched through his fingerprint samples, the Interpol managed to stop the extension of his residency permit in Australia," official sources told IANS.
Rajan told the CBI during interrogation that he decided to go to some other country when his attempt to get his Australian residency extended failed.
"Rajan had chosen four destinations, including Bali, where he was arrested on October 25 just after landing from an Australian flight," said sources.
"Rajan landed in the immigration net in Bali when he accidentally revealed his real name. Although the forged documents had his name as Mohan Kumar, he instinctively said Rajendra Nikhalje when he was asked his name," the source claimed.
Sources said the Australian Interpol in the meantime had shared information about Rajan with their Indonesian counterparts on the request of Indian Interpol.
Indonesian Police arrested Rajan on arrival in Bali as the Indian Interpol had in 1995 issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against him.
The CBI team left for Bali on October 31 after filing a case against him under the Passport Act 1967.
Subsequently, Rajan, wanted for over 85 crimes ranging from murder to extortion, smuggling and drug trafficking in Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, was handed over to CBI-Interpol (India) for his deportation to India.
Rajan, who was deported to India on Friday, is now in the CBI's custody for 10 days.
Sources said a third fake passport has also been recovered from Rajan's possession, which states the last name of his father as 'Rajan'.
The officials could not give much input about his third passport, citing ongoing investigations as the reason.