Mumbai Local

Two years on, man wanted for murder in Thailand roams free

Two years after he was arrested by the Mumbai Police for a murder he allegedly committed in Thailand, Ritesh Singhvi from Mumbai is roaming free on bail while the formalities of his extradition drag on.

According to the police, Ritesh was granted bail shortly after his arrest, on the condition that he appears before the Crime Branch regularly. What has the police worried is that if Ritesh disappears before the process of his extradition works out, it could lead to embarrassment on an international level.

Ritesh was arrested in Parbhani in September 2014 in connection with the murder of Wendy Albano. Wendy, an interior designer and a well-known socialite in the Florida party circuit, was found murdered in her hotel room in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, in 2012. The Mumbai Police Crime Branch later arrested Ritesh from Gangakhed in Parbhani.

While the police have his passport, they fear he could find multiple ways of dropping off their radar in the country itself.

“Even though an arrest warrant was issued in 2012, he stayed in Parbhani under an assumed name for two years before he was arrested. During this time, he never used the same handset twice to contact his family in Mumbai and never sent them money through net banking. If he disappeared again, he would be even more cautious,” said an officer with the Mumbai Police.

Officials said after an accused wanted abroad is arrested in India, the country concerned sends an extradition request to the Ministry of External Affairs. Processing the request takes a long time and during this phase, it is preferable that the accused be in custody instead of on bail.

In a similar instance, Salim Karimi, who was arrested in December last year in connection with a multimillion dollar fraud that he is alleged to have committed in Los Angeles, has been out on bail for five months now.

Karimi was arrested while trying to board a flight to Mexico, as airport authorities found that there was a Red Corner Notice against him, and he was then handed over to the Mumbai Police. He was granted bail by a Mumbai court nine days after his arrest.

Incidentally, the Mumbai Police in March had arrested Hossam Abdelfatah Tawfik Mohammed, an Egyptian national, who was wanted in connection with the widespread violence in Egypt in 2013. Mohamed was later taken to Delhi and is in custody, while the process of his extradition is being worked out.



Ritesh got bail on the condition that he appears before the Crime Branch regularly



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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 11:42:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/two-years-on-man-wanted-for-murder-in-thailand-roams-free/article8605901.ece

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