"I would think the FBI would be primary."
It was reported that gangster Goldy Brar was arrested in California over the murder of Sidhu Moose Wala.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann stated that he was detained.
However, questions have been raised about whether Brar has actually been arrested.
This is mainly due to a lack of proof given by the Punjab government as well as the absence of any confirmation from the US authorities.
Tony Botti, Public Information Officer at the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said that he is not aware of any operation or incident involving any alleged arrest of an Indian fugitive in the last few weeks, nor was anyone by the name of Satinderjit Singh, Satvinder Singh or Goldy Brar being held in their local jail.
The local team of the US Marshalls Fugitive Task Force also denied being aware of any such arrest.
The Fresno City Police also was unaware of the presence or arrest of any Indian fugitive in the last few weeks.
Lieutenant Rod Grassman, spokesperson of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said:
“This is not going to be a Sheriff’s Case – please reach out to the primary agency for information.
“If he is wanted in another country for homicide – I would think the FBI would be primary.”
Meanwhile, The Quint reported that the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detention centres had no inmates matching Brar’s description.
A police official said there are no local federal facilities where an arrested criminal in this sort of a case can be held.
Local Punjabi channels and several Gurdwara committees in Fresno and Sacramento have not heard of any such arrest or detention.
A person claiming to be Goldy Brar gave an interview to Punjab-based journalist Ritesh Lakhi.
He said: “I am fine and I have not been arrested.
“I am not in any American city or Canada. I am in Europe.
“You won’t see me getting arrested ever. I would much rather die than get arrested.
“The Punjab chief minister is misleading people by saying I have been detained.”
“I coordinated the killing of (gangster) Raju Theth in Rajasthan. How could I have done that if I had been detained in the US?”
Meanwhile, Lawrence Bishnoi’s lawyer Vishal Chopra also dismissed the arrest reports, stating that Goldy Brar remains a free man.
Although it was heavily reported that Goldy Brar was detained in the United States, the lack of positive response from the authorities indicates otherwise.
The interview allegedly given by Goldy Brar may or may not be genuine.
If the interview is genuine, the claim of Brar not being in North America cannot be taken at face value. That could be an attempt to mislead Indian authorities. It is also possible that he was detained and let off.
A Punjab police team has been tracking Brar’s movements in North America but the Punjab government is yet to provide any documentary proof of Goldy Brar’s arrest or detention in the US.