Pune Police on Thursday arrested Kiran Gosavi, an independent witness of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) who was apparently present during an alleged drug bust on a cruise ship involving Aryan Khan, in a cheating case registered in the city.
A local court later remanded Gosavi, whose selfie and video with Aryan Khan, actor Shah Rukh Khan's son, had gone viral, in police custody till November 5.
Gosavi did not surrender but was arrested while being on the run and he had been moving from place to place in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana, a senior police official said.
His photos and videos with actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan went viral on social media after the NCB's raid on the cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2.
Recently, another witness in the drugs case, Prabhakar Sail, told media-persons that he had overheard Gosavi telling one Sam D'Souza over the phone, after Aryan Khan was brought to the NCB office following the October 2 raid on the cruise ship, about a demand of Rs 25 crore and "to settle at Rs 18 crore as they have to give Rs 8 crore to Sameer Wankhede".
Gosavi had on Monday refuted the extortion claims made by Sail, and said he will surrender before the Lucknow police.
On Thursday, Pune police commissioner Amitabh Gupta said they had arrested Gosavi in a 2018 cheating case from a lodge in Katraj area in Pune at 3 am.
He was later produced before a court.
Gosavi was the main accused in this case and charge sheet had been filed in 2019, he said.
"Though Gosavi had spoken about surrendering, he never did so," Gupta said, adding he was using alias of 'Sachin Patil'.
As per the NCB, which arrested at least 20 persons including Aryan Khan following the raid on the cruise ship off the Mumbai coast and alleged recovery of drugs, Gosavi was an 'independent witness'.
Pune Police had earlier arrested Gosavi's assistant Sherbano Kureshi in the cheating case.
Chinmay Deshmukh, the complainant in the case, had alleged that Gosavi duped him of Rs 3.09 lakh by promising to provide him a job in hotel industry in Malaysia.
The money was allegedly received in Kureshi's account but the job did not materialise.
The case was registered at Faraskhana police station in Pune city.
"If any other person comes forward with a complaint, then we will register a new case against him," commissioner Gupta said, adding that there could be more victims in the case.
"We were chasing Gosavi for the last ten days. He was roaming around various places like Lucknow, Hyderabad in Telangana, Fatehpur, Jalgaon, Mumbai, Panvel, Lonavala," the commissioner said.
To a question, Gupta said as of now there was no request for Gosavi's custody from Mumbai Police or any other agency in the state.
Deshmukh, the complainant in the cheating case, had recently told city police that he had been threatened by the accused, he said.
"If Deshmukh lodges a complaint, the police will register another case against Gosavi," Gupta said.
Gosavi claimed to be a member of an NGO called 'Stop Crime Organisation' and part of a detective agency, the police official said, adding that he also claimed to be in import and export business of metals and electronic gadgets.
According to sources, Gosavi came to Pune on Wednesday with a plan to surrender at the Faraskhana police station, but later changed his mind and told some media persons that he would appear before the NCB inquiry team which is conducting internal probe into the allegations levelled by Prabhakar Sail.
Meanwhile, an official from Kelva police station in Palghar district on Thursday said they will move court to seek Gosavi's custody in another cheating case.
A case was registered against Gosavi in Palghar on a complaint filed by Adarsha Kini, he said.
As per Kini's complaint, he saw a Facebook post on April 3, 2018, about an overseas job opportunity. He and his friend Utkarsha Tare contacted Gosavi who allegedly took Rs 1.65 lakh from them at Vashi for securing jobs, said Palghar police spokesperson Sachin Navadkar.
When they traveled to Cochin for flying abroad, they found that the air tickets handed to them were fake and Gosavi then started evading them and never refunded the money, the complainant alleged.
Meanwhile, Gosavi was produced before Judicial Magistrate (First Class) R K Bafna after his arrest on Thursday.
Public Prosecutor Varsha Aslekar told the court that sections 465 (Punishment for Forgery) and 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating) of IPC had been invoked against him as he had forged several documents, and sought ten days' custody for him.
Deshmukh had transferred Rs 3.09 lakh to Sherbano Kureshi's account, and police needed to find out how Gosavi opened and operated this account and who were his accomplices in the cheating racket, she said.
Advocate Sachin Kumbhar, who represented Gosavi, opposed the custody plea and said the money had not been transferred to Gosavi's account.
Kureshi is out on bail in the case.
The court then remanded Gosavi in eight-day police custody.