The Mangalore Police on Monday invoked provisions of the Goonda Act (The Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Slum Grabbers Act, 1985) against Illiyas, the head of Target gang that was allegedly involved in extorting wealthy persons by taking photographs of them in compromising positions with women.

Police Commissioner R. Hithendra said detention order had been served against Illiyas (26), who has been involved in as many as 12 criminal cases, including four cases of extortion. Mr. Hithendra said Illiyas, lodged in Mangalore District Prison, would be moved to Bellary Central Prison. His order will be subject to approval by a committee of the State Home Department, Mr. Hithendra said.

As per the Act, Illiyas will be kept in a separate enclosure away from other prison inmates for up to one year.

Illiyas and his 10-odd members of the Target gang came into focus following extortion of two medical students by members of another gang after they were forced to perform sexual acts. The way the gang operated in this case, too, was similar to that of Target gang of Illiyas, who operated a travel agency with the name Target in Ullal.

According to police, Target Gang, which included two women, targeted businessmen in Ullal and neighbouring areas. The women would first get acquainted with businessmen and then the gang would take photographs and videos of them with the businessmen in compromising positions. These pictures and videos were used for extortion. The Target gang’s operation was exposed by a 30-year-old son of a bakery shop owner in Ullal after he was asked shell out Rs. 5 lakh, on October 30, 2013.

This is the second time Mangalore police have invoked the Gooda Act. On September 3, 2013, the then police chief Manish Kharbikar passed detention order against Pradeep Mendon, allegedly involved in 14 cases, including murder of underworld operative Bejai Raja.

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