Deepak Pahal, also known as ‘Deepak Boxer’, was one of the most sought-after criminals in Delhi-NCR region. When he saw two police officers on board the flight back to India after being detained in Mexico on Monday, his first words were reportedly: “Ab samajh gaya, yeh Delhi Police hai” (Now, I understand this is the Delhi Police).
Deepak Boxer, alleged to have been running the key operations of the Gogi gang after Jitendra Mann alias Gogi was killed in 2021 inside the Rohini Court complex in Delhi, was apprehended by Mexican police on Monday while he was relaxing at a small hotel near the sea in Cancun. He had entered Mexico illegally.
He initially viewed the matter as a minor inconvenience that he would be able to avoid, but he was ultimately booked on a Turkish Airlines flight through Istanbul to India with two Delhi Police officers, whom he recognised, present onboard as well. Sources confirmed this.
An intelligence source revealed that the man had no knowledge of the fact he was being taken back to the police station from which he had previously escaped.
Deepak was apprehended by the Mexican authorities in a collaborative operation conducted by Delhi Police’s Special Cell with the support of Office of the Legal Attaché, US Embassy, Delhi. The mission lasted more than 20 days, according to police sources.
Deepak had a bounty of Rs 3 lakh placed on his head due to the numerous cases of murder, extortion, and kidnapping that were registered against him.
According to police and intelligence agencies, Deepak had intended to enter the US illegally via Mexico by enlisting the assistance of a human trafficking cartel. This illegal method of crossing the border is commonly known as the ‘donkey route’. It was estimated that he would pay approximately Rs 40 lakh for this unlawful entry.
The source revealed that the human trafficking cartel had arranged for a group in which the subject was traveling. His intention was to join his gang members in the United States and conduct operations from there. The source went on to say that, should the individual have made it to America, retrieving him would have been an extremely difficult task.
Deepak Boxer In Mexico
As part of the operation that began on 16 March, the Office of the Legal Attaché at the US Embassy in Mexico, alongside police from Mexico and Special Cell officers from the Delhi Police, worked collaboratively to trace Deepak’s movements through a combination of technical surveillance and human intelligence.
More than a dozen people close to him were detained and questioned in India, and numerous phone calls were monitored and the locations of their conversations mapped in order to track him down, according to the intelligence source.
According to the source, Deepak’s phone was connected to a broadband network that allowed the team to pinpoint the location of where he was staying, eventually leading to his arrest.
He had been in Mexico for the past 20 days, according to a source. Even with a 12-hour time difference, the team based in Delhi remained in contact with the Office of the Legal Attaché, US Embassy, and Mexican police to locate him. After it was determined that he was residing in Cancun, Mexican authorities began their search operation.
After asking about the presence of any Indians in the area, Mexico police found that Deepak was staying at a local hotel. According to a source, this was an area where human trafficking cartels operated who smuggled illegal immigrants into the United States. The search by the authorities had led them to this location.
Deepak was taken into custody when he was unable to provide valid proof of his entry into Mexico. Without the necessary immigration stamp in his passport, showing that he had arrived in Mexico, Deepak was detained. However, unbeknownst to him, this was part of a joint effort to send him back to India.
The source reportedly stated that the Indian authorities were reluctant to give Deepak any more than 24 hours in Mexico, as they feared he may appeal for asylum. Therefore, it was decided that instead of taking him to Mexico City, Deepak would be put on a flight to India via Turkey from Cancun itself.
We opted to move swiftly and not give the suspect any more time. Thus, we opened a new channel of communication with Turkish authorities who agreed to cooperate with us. Consequently, the individual was taken from Cancun to Istanbul and will arrive in Delhi shortly, as per the source.
Deepak Boxer Escapes India
The source revealed that Deepak left India from Kolkata, with Dubai as his first destination. From there, he ventured to Almaty in Kazakhstan, staying for a brief period of time before heading off to Panama City. His final stop was Costa Rica.
Deepak Boxer In Costa Rica
The source stated that after leaving Costa Rica, the individual joined a group whose mission was to assist undocumented immigrants in their attempts to cross into the United States and Mexico.
According to the Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) H.S. Dhaliwal, Sandeep Nahari, Deepak’s cousin based in California, and his other associates abroad were providing assistance to the alleged gangster while he was eluding authorities.
According to the source, while the aim of the Delhi Police was to apprehend Deepak and return him to India, the primary focus of US authorities was on dismantling the human trafficking cartel responsible for smuggling illegal immigrants into their country.
The United States is facing an influx of illegal immigration from Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico. Criminal organizations are smuggling large numbers of migrants, including those from India, across dangerous routes through jungles and on boats to access the US.
A senior Delhi Police officer stated that the successful completion of the operation sends a stern warning to members of illegal and criminal organizations.
Once Deepak is brought back from Mexico, it will send a powerful warning to the gangsters who believe they can escape punishment by fleeing outside of the country. It will illustrate to them that if someone like Deepak can be tracked down and apprehended, then they too could face justice – be it in the present day or future. Such an example will undoubtedly act as a strong deterrent to those considering abandoning their home country.
The success of this joint operation between the Indian government and its counterparts in Mexico and the US has been hailed by authorities, who believe it will serve as a strong deterrent against criminals planning to flee to the United States.
An officer involved with the operation expressed gratitude to all those whose coordination made it possible, saying: “Just like many of these gangsters stopped going to Bangkok and Dubai, because they feel they may get caught here, we expect that the success of this operation will put off those who are planning to flee to the US via different routes.” The officer also thanked the officers of the Indian government for their part in coordinating this operation.
The Delhi Police has been focusing on dismantling the organized crime syndicate, resulting in the arrest of 51 people and confiscation of weapons such as AK47s, MP5s, and grenades in the last 12 months.
A former national level boxer from Ganaur in Haryana’s Sonipat district, Deepak left the sport sometime between 2015 and 2016 to become involved in criminal activities, according to reports.
After the murder of Gogi, Deepak Pahal assumed command of the infamous Gogi gang. In the last five years, he has been implicated in at least 10 high-profile criminal cases. Following a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah last year, the Special Cell began to focus more on apprehending these hardened criminals, as revealed by Special CP Dhaliwal.
In August of 2019, Shah convened a meeting with representatives from the Crime Branch and Special Cell, instructing them to take action against criminals who had fled outside of India.
According to Deepak’s criminal dossier, the initial criminal cases against him date back to 2016. He is a Class 10 passout and his alleged killing methods include “forcible hanging”.
In 2016, the Delhi Police Crime Branch arrested the former junior national boxing champion in a robbery case. Additionally, reports suggested that Pahal was part of the group that aided notorious gangster Jitender Gogi in escaping from the Haryana Police’s custody in Bahadurgarh.
He was eventually apprehended by the Haryana Police, but was later released on bail.
A senior police officer reported that the accused was released on bail in 2018 and had been evading arrest since then.
Reports indicate that Deepak had been on the run since 2018, constantly changing his hiding spots. According to sources, he rarely carried a phone, instead choosing to stay in different states such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Himachal Pradesh over the past five years.
In September 2021, two members of Sunil Maan alias Tillu Tajpuriya’s gang allegedly shot Jitendra Mann, also known as Gogi, dead during a hearing inside the Rohini district courtroom. The incident sparked outrage and condemnation from various quarters.
Deepak was reportedly among the group that allegedly assaulted police officers in a bid to facilitate Kuldeep Fajja’s escape from G.T.B Hospital in east Delhi in 2021.
He was reportedly implicated in the murder of Amit Gupta, a Burari-based real estate agent, in September of last year. Sources from the Delhi Police stated that Gogi gang allegedly planned the murder to exact revenge as they believed that Gupta had ties with the Tillu gang. The alleged perpetrator is said to have taken responsibility for the crime in a post on Facebook.