‘Peeli’ Shibu is an accused in over 60 crimes

The city police detained late on Sunday ‘Peeli’ Shibu, an accused in over 60 violent crimes, and the man who topped their list of most wanted since 2007.

He is wanted primarily in connection with the gangland murder of ‘Aprani’ Krishnakumar in March the same year. He had surrendered in court and jumped bail.

Investigators said Shibu had first fled to Dubai and later Singapore using a fake passport. In Dubai, he allegedly ran an extortion racket whose victims were primarily unskilled workers living in labour camps. In 2011, the Kazhakuttam police charged him with ordering his henchmen to throw country bombs at the house of a non-resident Keralite who refused to heed to his demand for money.

Recently, the police learned that Shibu had contracted certain real estate agents to sell his properties in Kazhakuttam. The police recruited informants among the brokers who persuaded Shibu to come to the city from Singapore to facilitate the sale of his land, resulting in his detention.

Investigators said Shibu’s arrest had a bearing on State security as he was renowned in the underworld for his considerable skill in making powerful crude explosives using low-grade gun powder and fertilizers. Such bombs were used to attack the police in the past and also in the murder of Krishnakumar.

Investigators were trying to find out how and from where Shibu procured a passport and who gave him the mandatory police clearance certificate despite having more than 50 police cases registered against him in the State. According to the police, Shibu first gained notoriety as a prominent member of the Thumba-based gang headed by ‘Blackie’ Shibu and ‘Ilapakuzhy’ Biju. In 2002, the gang was accused by the police of stealing a Maruti van from Thumba and engaging in a highway robbery spree.

According to the police, 22 robberies were conducted along the National Highway from Mangalapuram to Malappuram on the same day. All the offences were traced back to the Thumba gang in which ‘Peeli’ Shibu was the key operative, they said. The police team that tried to intercept the gang at Thrissur was attacked with country bombs.

In 2005, Shibu was arrested on the charge of attacking and injuring four policemen with crude bombs at Mangalapuram. In 2006, Shibu swore allegiance to Krishnakumar and joined his gang. They fell out a month before Krishnakumar was killed. City Police Commissioner S. Vijayan and Assistant Commissioner, Shanghumugham, K. Vimal headed the operation.