Kuckian, Narsingh, Bam and Bunaban
Four men have been arrested in connection with the gunning down of businessman Sharad Shetty in a Dubai social club last Sunday.

Police claim the slaying at the India Club was a revenge "hit" organised by alleged gangland boss Chota Rajan, an Indian based in Thailand.

Shetty, an Indian expatriate with business interests in Dubai, was shot dead by two men who pumped five bullets into him at point blank range.

Three of the four suspects, who have been referred to the Public Prosecution, have been charged with premeditated murder and the fourth with being an accomplice.

Police are concerned about the fact that three of them had been given membership of the club despite the fact that they were in the UAE on visit visas.

Yesterday, Dubai Police Chief, Major General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, said: "This was an organised crime which took a lot of planning, money and time to arrange. The killers had closely studied the movements of their victim before they struck".

The suspects were named as Manoj Muddanna Kuckian,33, Indian, Amar Bahadur Bam, 26, Nepalese, Rajput Karansingh Narsingh, 30, Indian, and Smith Vasa Kulat Bunaban also Indian.

Police allege that Kuckian and Narsingh actually carried out the hit and Bam drove the getaway car. The three were said to be carrying papers issued in Liberia identifying them as professional seamen. Bunaban allegedly provided the logistics support. The first three, who were charged with premeditated murder, face the death penalty if convicted.

According to police, the first clue leading them to the suspects came from one of the eyewitnesses who was playing tennis at the club when he heard shots at 8.30 pm.

The eyewitness saw two men running towards the rear fence and trying to cover their faces with their left hands while holding silver-coloured pistols in their right hands, the police said.

A second eyewitness also confirmed seeing the two men while they were loitering around the club. One was seen in the squash court while the other was sitting near shrubs, the police said.

The eyewitnesses also saw the two talk together and they gave a description of the getaway car. It was found a day later in one of the parking lots in the Al Munira area.

A team of 79 police personnel was formed to track down the murderers, said Maj Gen Dhahi, adding that the team worked 24 hours a day and after five days managed to track down the suspects.

The police then kept their movements under observation. They swooped on three of the suspects who were about to board a ship on Friday night and arrested them.

According to the police the suspects got rid of the pistols in a garbage bin.

Maj Gen Dhahi revealed that the police have sent a formal letter to the Immigration authorities informing them of some people who are suspected criminals and who should not be in the country.

The police chief urged that the India Club be held responsible. "When such a social club becomes lax with rules and gives membership to three people on visit visas, then it deserves to be held accountable," said Maj. Gen. Dhahi.

When contacted by Gulf News, a spokesman for club said he did not wish to comment at this point.