Bunty Pandey, who led the attack on East-West Airline's Thakiyudeen Wahid, has been arrested in Vietnam. He was handed over by CBI to Mumbai Police on Thursday.
One of gangster Chhota Rajan's former aides, who was involved in the murder of East-West Airlines chief Thakiyudeen Wahid in Bandra in 1995, was picked up in Vietnam after which he was handed over to India's CBI. Bunty was brought to India and handed over to Mumbai Police.
Prakash Narayan Pandey alias Bunty Pandey, who was instrumental in saving Rajan from Chhota Shakeel's men in an attack in Bangkok in 2000, has arrived in Mumbai, police sources said.
Pandey had parted ways with Rajan soon after the Bangkok attack and started his own gang. In the past few years, he was known to be operating out of south-east Asia.
Hailing from Haldwani in Uttarakhand, Pandey in 2004 had hit upon a unique plan to extort money from wealthy families in Uttar Pradesh.
He floated advertisements in newspapers through his front organisations seeking applications from young men seeking to make it big in Bollywood.
He called nearly a dozen youth for interviews. He then took them to Pune and made ransom calls to their families.
The families, however, alerted the UP Special Task Force and the Mumbai Crime Branch, forcing Pandey to free the youth and escape.
The sensational murder of Thakiyudeen Wahid of East-West Airlines is still considered a important flagpost in Mumbai underworld's growth. The attack, in which Pandey led a pack of six gunmen, had triggered a series of extortion-linked killings.
Pandey always aimed to make himself independent, both financially and operationally. He always tried to emulate Abu Salem, who had parted ways with Chhota Shakeel and made it big.
In desperate attempts to grow in stature, Pandey had tried to take credit for the murder of ACP Rajbir Singh of Delhi police's special operations squad in 2008. He had also claimed to have threatened Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Police subsequently found that he had no role to play in both the events.
A couple of years ago, the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested a railway employee who used to arrange tickets for shooters of Pandey gang. It was later revealed that the railway employee was Pandey's relative.
Pandey himself, however, remained elusive.His arrest in Vietnam and subsequent deportation to India has brought to end a 10-year chase.
Shot to limelight when he participated in the murder of East-West Airlines chief Thakiyudeen Wahid outside his office in Bandra in 1995.
Was present in Bangkok when Chhota Rajan was attacked by Chota Shakeel men in the late 90s.
Abducted youth from UP and attempted to extort money from their families in 2004. Had to free them and flee.
Tried to take credit for the murder of ACP Rajbir Singh of Delhi Police special operations squad in 2008. Also claimed to have threatened Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan. Both claims rubbished by cops.Was allegedly involved in the murder of Navi Mumbai corporator Devidas Chougule in 2008.