The Special Cell apprehended him from a train to Delhi, which he had boarded from Mumbai Central railway station in Mumbai.
The last time Jaan Mohammed Sheikh was arrested was 20 years ago in 2001 for allegedly firing at a Mumbai businessman during an extortion attempt.
On Tuesday, the 47-year-old from Dharavi was arrested again — this time by the Delhi Police Special Cell, along with five other alleged terror operatives who had allegedly been in touch with gangster Faheem Machmach, a close associate of Dawood Ibrahim since the late 1990s, police sources said.
The Special Cell apprehended him from a train to Delhi, which he had boarded from Mumbai Central railway station in Mumbai. Maharashtra ATS chief Vineet Agarwal said at a press conference that Delhi Police had not informed his unit about their interest in Shaikh, and had carried out the arrest based on their own information.
Agarwal said that Sheikh had been on their radar for his affiliations with the D-gang.
After gangster Machmach died on August 28, Sheikh is believed to have been taking orders directly from Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Anees for extortion bids on local businessmen.
During Sheikh’s last serious brush with the law in 2001, he had fired at the office of a businessman in the Pydhonie area of south Mumbai. A case was registered and he along with three others were arrested by the Crime Branch.
“The firing was orchestrated and supervised by Machmach on the instruction of Anees,” said a police officer.
According to police sources, after that, he came up on the ATS radar once more in November 2020, when Fazlur Rehman Ubed ur Rehman Khan alias Mujju was arrested by the anti-extortion cell.
Khan, sources said, told police that Sheikh was taking orders from the D-gang, mainly for extortion demands. Following this, police agencies along with ATS started keeping a close watch on his movements.
In his Dharavi neighbourhood, Sheikh was known as someone who kept a low profile. The Indian Express found his home in Dharavi locked on Wednesday, and none of the neighbours knew where his family had gone. Locals claimed that his family is being interrogated by different investigation agencies.
A police officer said there were two cases of extortion registered against him: “We are trying to get details on those cases and whether he was arrested in any other case. He has also committed petty offences like electricity thefts and assault in the central suburbs.”
ATS chief Agarwal revealed that Sheikh, who once worked as a driver, was deep in debt. He had taken a loan to buy a two-wheeler and owed around Rs 20,000.
“After quitting his job as a driver, Sheikh took out a loan, bought a car and drove a taxi for some time. But as he could not pay his monthly instalments, the bank authorities took away the taxi. Later he took another loan and bought a bike from which he was selling gutka,” said Agarwal.
A source said that after the lockdown, Sheikh had started selling clothes.
“He would go to Surat, buy clothes in bulk and sell them in Mumbai. While getting these clothes, he would also illegally smuggle gutka from Surat by wrapping it in those clothes,” said the source.
A travel agent, who helped him book a train ticket to Delhi — it was mid-journey on this train that he was caught — told The Indian Express: “Eight to nine months ago, he asked me to book tickets as he wanted to travel to Ajmer with his family. That’s how I knew him. On September 10, he called and asked me to book a railway ticket for him. He said that he wanted to travel to Delhi.”
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