Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dawood Ibrahim’s security upped, Pakistan army directly in charge: Intelligence

The security of terrorist mastermind and main accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings Dawood Ibrahim, who reportedly keeps shuttling between safe houses in Pakistan, has been enhanced in the past one week with the Pakistan army directly overseeing arrangements, according to senior sources in the Indian intelligence establishment.

dawood ibrahim
Dawood Ibrahim. (File photo)

The stepped up protection for Dawood, who figures at the top of the most-wanted list of Indian fugitives based in Pakistan, comes close on the heels of a similar security upgrade for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) boss and 26/11 plotter Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and coincides with the arrest of Dawood's arch rival Chhota Rajan in Bali, Indonesia.Chhota Rajan is expected to be deported and flown back to India on Tuesday or Wednesday and Indian agencies will certainly quiz him over his one-time comrade turned foe Dawood. Though the focus of Indian agencies on locating Dawood predates Chhota Rajan's arrest, reports that India is stepping up attempts to reach the Pakistan-based don might be a factor in Dawood's additional protection.

A senior official cited intelligence reports to claim that special commandos of the Pakistan army had been deployed at Dawood's residences in Karachi and Islamabad, where he has been living for more than two decades.

Earlier in the day, while being taken for questioning in Bali, Chhota Rajan confirmed to the media that Dawood was indeed in Pakistan under the protection of ISI. This flies in the face of Pakistan's repeated thin denials of Dawood's presence on its soil.

New Delhi has time and again shared dossiers with Pakistan pinpointing the known addresses and locations of Dawood as well as his activities and business interests there. In fact, in the latest dossier prepared for NSA-level talks in August -- that were eventually called off -- India shared an updated list of his known addresses in Pakistan, besides putting out a recent photograph as well as bills issued in his wife's name and sent to an address in Karachi.

Dawood, according to intelligence sources, has completely avoided travelling out of Pakistan for the past several years. Apart from partnering the ISI in anti-India terrorist activities, Dawood is understood to be running extortion, betting and drug and arms trafficking.

Home minister Rajnath Singh had a few months ago assured Parliament that the government was committed to bringing Dawood back. The statement came even as Indian agencies are working hard on making this possible.

Rajan, once a close confidante of Dawood, has claimed he is not afraid of the don but the operation to bring him back to India seems, at least in part, due to concerns that Dawood associate Chhota Shakeel was closing in on him in Australia where Rajan was living under the assumed identity of Mohan Kumar.

In 2000, there was an attempt on Rajan's life when Dawood's men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape.


Did terrorist and 1993 Mumbai bomb blast accused Dawood Ibrahim influence the swelling crowd at Yakub Memon's funeral procession?

According to Mumbai police sources, Dawood had called up his loyalists in the city and asked them to go in large numbers to attend Memon's funeral. "We have information that Dawood and his protege Chhota Shakeel had called up several of their cronies in the city and ordered them to attend the funeral and show solidarity," said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity.
Police say this is the reason behind 10,000 people turning up at Memon's funeral in Mahim and another 10,000-plus crowd at Marine Lines Muslim cemetery where Memon was buried. But community leaders said that the real reason was curiosity among many who even did not know who Memon was. At the same time Muslims thronged in large numbers to attend funeral of a Muslim brother.

Meanwhile, sources said Dawood or Shakeel initially did not react as they were hopeful that the Supreme Court will accept Memon's mercy petition. "They felt that their any reaction would have adversely impacted Memon's petition and could be rejected due to this. And this is why immediately after Memon's hanging, Shakeel gave an interview and indirectly threatened of consequences. "Shakeel's threat is a threat to country and the recent threat to one of the approvers of the 1993 blast is handiwork of him," said an officer.

Poet gets death threat for FB post

Gaurav Chauhan, a poet from UP's Etawah district, who had posted a poem on Facebook demanding Yakub Memon's hanging, received death threats on his mobile on August 3. He registered a complaint on Thursday. Senior police superintendent Manzil Saini said the threats were made from a west Asian country and a number from east UP. A probe is on.
 In a bid to freeze Dawood's assets and hobble his operations, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had tasked intelligence agencies to pinpoint the don's businesses. It is widely known that he has interests in real estate, money laundering and illegal financial services like hawala, betting and fake currencies.

The sleuths have found that the current focus of the D Company, as Dawood's businesses are called, is to promote and expand the business of conflict diamonds in Africa and Dubai.

Conflict diamonds are raw diamonds mined and sold by militants groups in African countries, particularly Angola, Sierra Leone and Congo, to "finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments". These illegally mined stones are also called blood diamonds for the millions of civilian deaths caused by arms and ammunition that their sales have procured. They have largely been blacklisted in the diamond markets across the world.

Dawood's numerous links to countries such as Zimbabwe and Kenya, among others, have been detailed in a dossier created by the investigators and which has been accessed by TOI. It also describes the manner in which the gangster's syndicate acquires diamonds abroad and smuggles them into Dubai.

The dossier talks about a conduit called Rehmat, who appears to be Dawood's pointman in Africa. Rehmat, who uses a mobile phone with an African number, hires African nationals, mostly women and young men, to act as couriers for Dawood's diamonds. Rehmat is known to have tapped the existing couriers to identify those who could carry the diamonds to the don's henchmen in Dubai.

The intelligence investigators have established that Dawood has a Dubai-based company called Al Noor Diamonds which, they say, is a front for this illegal trade in blood diamonds. The probe has uncovered solid evidence to show how Rehmat ferries diamonds to Dubai from Africa on flights.

"On each trip, diamonds worth around 5 to 10 lakh US dollars are smuggled into Dubai and the African courier is paid 10,000 dollars as his courier fee," reads the dossier.

In Dubai, a man named in the report as Feroze Oasis receives the stones and has them processed before putting them out on the market. "Feroze also handles Dawood's other companies viz Oasis Oil and Lube LCC ... He is a south Indian and speaks Tamil, Arabic, English and Hindi," the dossier reads.

The investigators say Javed Chutani alias Doctor is the man who oversees the don's operations and business in Dubai. "He was a bookie by profession with interests in real estate. His current gambling book is in the name of Kamran. Chutani also works as a bridge between Feroze, another associate Tariq Dubai and Dawood," the dossier states.

The agencies are now probing the Indian links of the syndicate which they suspect get active once the rocks are processed and ready to be sold. India is a major processor of diamonds; almost 10 of every 11 diamonds that are sold across the globe are cut and polished in the country.

The Indian security set-up believes that once it has control over Dawood's offshore assets, it will be in a better position to take him on. But till date, only a half of his suspected assets have been identified. Work on determining the rest is currently under way.

Dawood's wife confirms her husband is in Karachi

File photo of Dawood Ibrahim.
Times Now has tracked Dawood Ibrahim, India's most wanted criminal and mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Times Now spoke to Dawood's wife Mehjabeen Shaikh who confirmed that he was in Karachi. In a telephone conversation Mehjabeen confirmed to Siddhartha Talya of Times Now Analysis Group that she was speaking from Karachi and at that moment, Dawood was asleep.

By the time a second call was placed to the number, those at Dawood's home were much more alert. Later calls, were met with one answer, "wrong number".

Later during the her press conference, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj acknowledged Times Now reportage and said evidence with Times Now can be handed over to the government will be taken up in an appropriate manner.

Times Now is also in possession of the detailed phone bill in the name of Dawoods wife Mehjabeen Shaikh. Clearly written on the phone bill for the month of August 2015 is Dawood's latest address : D-13, Block-4, KDA. Sch-5, Clifton, Karachi.

Here are the transcripts of the first two conversations:

Conversation: 1

DAWOOD'S WIFE: Hello, salam walequm.
TIMES NOW: Walequm Assalam. Can I talk to Mehjabeen Sheikh?
TIMES NOW: Madam are you speaking from Karachi?
DAWOOD'S WIFE: Yes. Who is this?
TIMES NOW: Madam I just wanted to know if you are Dawood Ibrahim's wife.
DAWOOD'S WIFE: Yes, he is sleeping.

Conversation: 2

TIMES NOW: Salam walequm.


TIMES NOW: Salam walequm.
LADY ON THE PHONE: Walequm aslam
TIMES NOW: Can I speak to apa? I am not able to get through to her.
LADY ON THE PHONE: Who do you want to talk to?
TIMES NOW: I want to talk to Mehjabeen apa.
LADY ON THE PHONE: There is nobody here. I have told you before.
TIMES NOW: But I had a word with her just a little while ago which is why I called back.
LADY ON THE PHONE: Nobody talked to you here. Who did you talk to?
TIMES NOW: What is your name?
LADY ON THE PHONE: My name is Anam.
TIMES NOW: Okay. So your name is Anam?
LADY ON THE PHONE: Yes. Who is this?
TIMES NOW: My name is xxx. I wanted to talk to Mehjabeen apa.
LADY ON THE PHONE: No there is nobody with that name here.
TIMES NOW: Okay could you tell me how could I get her contact number?
LADY ON THE PHONE: No I have no idea what are you talking about. I am telling you that I don't know.
TIMES NOW: Okay. Thank you.

In early May this year, The Times of India reported: "Around four months ago, intelligence agencies traced Dawood's three calls from Pakistan to his associate Javed in Dubai, yet again confirming the gangster's presence in the neighbouring country. The calls also nailed Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit's lie that "Dawood is not in Pakistan"."

"Javed, according to sources, looks after Dawood's business interests in Dubai and India. Dawood was regularly heard talking to another associate, identified as Tariq, over phone from Pakistan a few months before the three calls to Javed, sources said. While Javed reportedly manages Dawood's businesses including real estate, narcotics, extortion, hawala, betting and fixing, not much is known about Tariq. Dawood's one-time right hand man Tariq Parveen was arrested by Uttar Pradesh ATS earlier this year."
In a significant disclosure, former Union home secretary R K Singh has said that Indian intelligence agencies had to abort a covert operation they had planned to take out fugitive underworld don and mastermind of Mumbai serial blasts Dawood Ibrahim.

In an interview to a news channel, Singh said the plan, prepared by national security advisor A K Doval when he headed the Intelligence Bureau under the Vajpayee government, involved using members of the rival underworld gang led by Chhota Rajan to target Dawood when he was set to travel to Dubai for the wedding of his daughter in 2005. However, the plot was disrupted by a posse of Mumbai cops who mysteriously emerged in Delhi to arrest Rajan's accomplice Vicky Malhotra and Fareed Tanasha.

Malhotra and Tanasha had travelled to Delhi to work out details of the plan.

The claim has shone fresh spotlight on Dawood's links with sections of Mumbai cops, one of the factors why he came to be known as the "uncrowned king" of the city. It has rekindled suspicions about the manner in which Mumbai cops landed in New Delhi to enlist the help of Delhi Police ostensibly to execute arrest warrants pending against members of Chhota Rajan gang.

The claim is significant also because of the timing: it comes at a time when evidence has emerged that Doval's interest in the leader of the notorious crime syndicate may not have waned even after a decade he spent outside the government following his superannuation.

Last week, Indian agencies responded to claims of Pakistani officials here that they had got dossiers showing complicity of Indian agencies in Baluchistan insurgency by releasing a fresh photograph of the ageing don. So far, Indian agencies have used an old photograph - one which was taken in 1993 - in all the dossiers submitted to Pakistan to claim that the fugitive was being sheltered by the hostile neighbour, and to demand his return. The image of the ageing don with a receding hairline showed that Indian agencies have been tracking him with considerable success.

The dossier which Doval had planned to submit to his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz had the latter not cried off from his engagement in Delhi, included the will that Dawood has prepared, bequeathing his property to his wife Mehzabeen, as well as the precise coordinates of the house Dawood bought next to a hospital in Karachi.

Dawood's infiltration of Mumbai Police has been part of the lore that has developed around him. A few years ago, Wikileaks disclosed that a senior inspector with Mumbai Police had to be cashiered because of his links with the don.

Govt looks to bolster case against Dawood, with Chhota Rajan’s help

A police officer shows a photo of gangster Rajendra Nikalje, widely known as Chhota Rajan, during a news conference in Denpasar police office in Bali. (REUTERS/Nyoman Budhiana/Antara Foto)
With Chhota Rajan in its net, India is looking to strengthen its case against Pakistan-based Dawood Ibrahim, the main accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts and mastermind of a string of terrorist operations since then that have made him a major security threat.

Though Chhota Rajan has been in touch with Indian agencies on a regular basis and is understood to have provided a volume of information on his former comrade in the Mumbai underworld, his presence as a witness and more detailed information regarding the D Company since the 1990s could help thicken the Dawood dossier.

India has in recent months focused with new intensity on tracking the elusive Dawood, understood to be holed up in Karachi, and bringing him to justice. This has gone hand in hand with efforts to build a solid case against Pakistan as was seen in the detailed GPS based information shared with foreign governments to corner Islamabad over the terror strike in Gurdaspur.

Since Rajan will be available for face to face interrogation, he is expected to be quizzed more closely than when he was in a position to provide information at his discretion. Apart from his knowledge about the main conspirators of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts - Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon - he can provide more evidence or corroborate claims.

Top sources said Rajan's arrest in Indonesia came about after Australia, which was in regular touch with CBI's Interpol Delhi division and other senior Indian officials, reportedly made it clear that it did not want a gang war on its soil in view of reports that D Company's Chhota Shakeel was planning to eliminate the don living in Sydney as 'Mohan Kumar'. Rajan's travel to Indonesia could have been on the prod of Australian authorities and set the stage for India seeking his return.

"What Rajan can easily help Indian agencies with is documentary and physical evidence of the reports and claims we have against the Company and its supporters here in the country. The dossier is only going to be strengthened, that's for sure. The contents of the dossier have been often challenged by Pakistan which has cited lack of witnesses or evidence to back the claims," an officer said.

According to sources, Rajan may help India get further details on Dawood's hideouts, network and activities in Pakistan and beyond, which he may have withheld from Indian agencies for whatever reasons.

"This will help (us) build a more credible dossier against our most-wanted criminal, and can be used to corner Pakistan both at bilateral and multilateral forums in the future," said an intelligence officer.

Rajan, said officials, knows the role of individuals behind the Mumbai blasts and other Dawood operations. "Rajan is the most important person which India could put forward against Dawood and his handlers. What matters is the stuff which he says in custody now, as his statement before a magistrate, and the evidence he corroborates it with," an officer said.

Rajan, who split with the D Company after the 1993 serial blasts that were aimed at "avenging" the Babri Masjid demolition, could provide a few additional details on the attacks, even though the trial is over in the case.

Before the NSA-level talks were called off in August, India had prepared a detailed dossier containing multiple addresses of Dawood in Pakistan. The dossier listed telephone bills issued in the name of Dawood's wife Mehjabeen Sheikh and sent to D-13, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi, one of his identified addresses. A latest photo of the don, showing him as having aged and with a receding hairline, made it to the press just ahead of the cancelled talks.

A team led by CBI and other officials from MEA and MHA are planning to go to Bali in next two days for deportation of Rajan, who may be flown to Delhi in a separate plane. The deportation process, being personally supervised by NSA Ajit Doval, is being kept highly secret and only a handful of officers in the government are aware of the plans.

Union MoS Kiren Rijiju said, "We are exploring all provisions of law and bilateral agreement between India and Indonesia. The process is on to bring back Chhota Rajan to India soon."

Australia avoided gang-war on its soil

Meanwhile, top sources in the government claimed that Australia, which was in regular touch with CBI's Interpol Delhi division and other senior Indian officials, didn't want a gang-war on its soil after it learnt that Dawood Ibrahim's most trusted aide Chhota Shakeel had tried to eliminate Rajan in Australia.

Dawood entered Indian dressing room in 1986, offered cars to players: Vengsarkar

Former skipper Dilip Vengsarkar today made a startling revelation about underworld don Dawood Ibrahim entering the Indian team dressing room and offering the players cars if they beat Pakistan in the final of the Sharjah tournament in 1986.

Vengsarkar disclosed that Dawood entered the team's dressing room and was introduced by the famous actor Mehmood as a businessman. However, Dawood was asked by the then India's captain Kapil Dev to get out of the dressing room.

"Actor Mehmood was in our dressing room. Kapil Dev was not in the dressing room at that time because he had gone out to address the press conference. Dawood was introduced by actor Mehmood," Vengsarkar said at a function in Jalgaon.

"No one recognised him but I had seen his photographs. Mehmood introduced him to us as a big businessman from here. Mehmood said he wants to announce a prize for us. He said 'If you beat Pakistan tomorrow, everyone will get a car'. Jayawant Lele was our manager then," he added.

"When Kapil returned from the press conference he asked Dawood to get out," said Vengsarkar.

Former BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele had also mentioned the incident in his book, 'I was There -- Memoirs of a Cricket Administrator'.

The series is most remembered for the last-ball six by Javed Miandad off Chetan Sharma in the final that helped Pakistan win their first Sharjah trophy.
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