The man, identified as Imran, 38, a resident of Kodungaiyur extorted money from businessmen in North Chennai.
While police special teams had been searching for Imran in his possible hideouts in Andhra Pradesh, he was caught unexpectedly by the public after his rashly-driven car met with an accident in Vellore.
He was later handed over to the police, who took him to the station along with the car. Police found a pistol, country-made bomb and sickles inside his vehicle besides a fake journalist identity card and sets of fake number plates. Later only the cops became aware that Imran was a notorious criminal wanted in many extortion cases in Chennai city.
Imran, a native of Pernampattu, had started his life as a car driver, staying in Muthamizh Nagar.
While driving trucks and other heavy vehicles, he started to pilfer oil. Imran later shifted to extortion from people doing shady business.
He then enrolled those whom he met in jail during his earlier stay in prison in his extortion business, besides securing an unlicensed gun which turned out to be a crucial tool for his kidnapping, extortion, and other crimes he committed in areas like Washermenpet, Kodungaiyur, Vyasarpadi and Manali. Police said Imran has been facing eight cases.
In the last known case against Imran, he is believed to have kidnapped a businessman of Manali New Town on January 22 in a car and snatched some of his original land records at gunpoint. He and his associates took Rs 3 lakh and demanded another Rs 2 lakh for returning them.