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Man who lived with Pujari in Burkina Faso sold him to cops

This was the first piece of credible information that ADGP (law and order) Amar Kumar Pandey and ACP Venkatesh Prasanna, the two-man team hunting for Pujari since June 2018, got. The two officers had no lead on Pujari though he’d been booked in several cases of murder, attempt to murder and extortion.

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2020, 10.57 AM IST
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(This story originally appeared in on Feb 26, 2020)
Mangaluru: The first lead on Udupi-born gangster Ravi Pujari was provided to the Karnataka police by a man who had lived with him in Burkina Faso but finked on him in return for money. The man provided details and pictures of the hotel run by Pujari in the African country and its outlets, a source privy to the hunt for the gangster revealed.

This was the first piece of credible information that ADGP (law and order) Amar Kumar Pandey and ACP Venkatesh Prasanna, the two-man team hunting for Pujari since June 2018, got. The two officers had no lead on Pujari though he’d been booked in several cases of murder, attempt to murder and extortion. No agency in the country had a clue about his whereabouts, the source said.

Sifting through his dossiers, they came to know Pujari was first arrested for robbery in Mumbai in 1992. “They finally managed to get an informant who agreed to help after a lot of persuasion.

He connected the police to a person living with Pujari who allegedly agreed to give information in exchange for money. He told police the man they were looking for was in Burkina Faso and ran a hotel. Police, by then, managed to find another ‘khabri’ (informant) who said there was no Ravi Pujari in Burkina Faso but a man by the name Fernandes,” the source said.

The officers spent at least one month checking passports looking for the name Fernandes.

It took another 2-3 months for police to get back on track. One of the informants provided them a picture where Ravi Pujari was seen distributing a prize to a winner at a cricket match.

Experts found out from the photograph that one of the men in it wore a T-shirt with the words “Cricketers Club, Senegal”. Pandey and Prasanna were now sure that Pujari was holed up in Senegal and told the the central agencies about their findings.

Soon, he was arrested from the African country.

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