Court docket remands Vipul Patel in 14-day judicial custody in 2003 mannequin homicide | Mumbai information

Thane: The Thane court has remanded Vipul Patel, who has been extradited from Prague for allegedly killing a US-based model in 2003, to 14 days of judicial custody on Saturday. Patel is one of the main accused in the murder of Leona Swiderski (33) in February 2003.

During the hearing in Thane Judicial Magistrate First Class Holiday court, Patel claimed that he had no involvement in the case and was not in the city when the incident took place.

Patel was extradited from Prague on Friday by a four-member team from Mira Bhayander Vasai Virar Commissionerate (MBVVC). He was produced before judge SS Ingle on Saturday by the Kashimira Police. As he did not have a lawyer, the court appointed a lawyer for him.

The court had earlier issued a non-bailable warrant against Patel who had not appeared before the court despite repeated summons in the past.

Assistant Police Inspector Rajendra Chandankar, of Kashimira Police station, said, “He was remanded to 14 days of judicial custody and the court has asked us to produce him before the high court on Monday, as a non-bailable warrant was issued against Patel by the high court.”

He was taken for medical tests following the court’s order and will later be taken to a quarantine center in Vitawa in Thane.

Speaking to HT, Patel said, “I reside in England with my wife and child for the last 20 years and work as a plant engineer. I was in Prague for a day for some work. I am not involved in the murder and was not even in the city when the incident took place. I already went through a lot of stress earlier but was acknowledged as the police could not prove my involvement. I have also lost my job following the deportation.”

He further claimed that there was no communication from his earlier lawyer. “If I were contacted through the right means, I myself would have appeared before the court and this non-bailable warrant would not have been issued,” Patel said.

In 2003, Swiderski’s fiancee Pragnesh Desai allegedly gave a contract to three persons — Patel, Altaf Gafoor Patel and Farooq Banarasi — to strangulate her and dump her body near a hotel on the Kashimira highway.

Desai who was married to a resident of Baroda hid this fact from Swiderski after he fell in love with her.

Between 4 January 2003 to 16 January 2003 the couple stayed in Baroda and according to police, she came to know about Desai’s marital status. She allegedly gave a US $20,000 contract out of which $10,000 was given as an advance to the mafia to murder Trupti, Desai’s wife.

So, Desai then hatched the plan to murder Linda and gave 30 lakh in cash to Patel who in turn hired the other two killers.

On February 8, 2003, the plan was hatched whereby Leona was kidnapped in a car from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport, rendered unconscious with chloroform and murdered by strangulation. Her body was then dumped near Kashimira. On 11 February 2003 Desai and 3 others were arrested by the police. Later the four were acquitted by the Thane court for lack of evidence. Recently, the case was reopened after a high court order.

(With inputs from Ram Parmar)

Comments are closed.