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A local court on Sunday remanded in judicial custody the alleged kingpin of mafia arrested on Saturday in connection with the seizure of the protected red sanders in the city worth Rs 9 crore.

Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Esplanade sent red sandersin judicial custody till December 19.

“As soon as Ali was produced before the Magistrate, we told the court that he was already granted protection from arrest by the sessions court yesterday,” his lawyer Taraq Sayyed told PTI.

Before his arrest on Saturday, Ali had moved for pre-arrrest bail in the sessions court, he said.

“The sessions court had adjourned the matter till Tuesday and granted him protection from arrest till the next date of hearing,” Sayyed added.

The magistrate’s court on Sunday directed Ali to complete the formalities as directed by the Sessions Court. “He will be released once the formalities of the surety are completed,” Sayyed added.

In a joint operation by the Coast Guard and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), 23 tonnes of red sanders worth Rs 9 crore had been seized on Friday while it was being smuggled to Dubai through the sea route.

The two central agencies handed over the 20 persons involved in the smuggling to Mumbai Police Crime Branch, which placed them under arrest on Saturday.

The barge MV Ganga Sagar sailed from Mumbai with around 23 tonnes of red sanders for transfer at sea to the dhow ‘Al Marwan, 10’ which sailed from Veraval in Gujarat showing consignment of 100 metric tonnes of maize for Dubai.

The arrangement was that MV Ganga Sagar and Al Marwanwill meet at Bombay High to transfer the 23 tonnes highly valued illegal consignment.

Before the gang could execute the plan, the Coast Guard and the DRI nabbed them.

Mohammed Ali had been earlier arrested in a murder case of another oil mafia and is suspected to have links with underworld.

The Mumbai police today said that they are likely to move the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court seeking cancellation of Mohammed Ali’s bail in connection with the killing of Chand Madar alias Chandbhai.

“We are likely to move the special court seeking cancellation of his bail in the murder case,” said a senior crime branch official.

Chand was shot on September 15, 2010 on his head by an unidentified assailant from close range in near GPO in South Mumbai.

Police had arrested eight accused, including Mohammed Ali, while the crime branch alleged that he had paid the contract money of Rs 3 lakh for the attack.

The Crime Branch invoked MCOCA in the case after Ali’s alleged link with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim was revealed

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