Iqbal Mirchi, 61, a close aide Dawood Ibrahim, who is India’s most-wanted and on the FBI’s list of top terrorists in the world, was arrested on Tuesday late evening India time in London by local police.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) confirmed his arrest, which was over a dispute with a local. Mirchi is on an Interpol red corner alert and Indian attempts to have him extradited some years ago were unsuccessful.
The custody of Mirchi, whose real name is Mohammed Iqbal Memon, wanted by the Mumbai police in several cases including those related to a murder and narcotics trafficking, could be the key to unravelling the D (Dawood)-gang’s worldwide illegal drugs smuggling operations. Mirchi's journey
These operations which are worth several thousand crore are spread from Afghanistan and African countries to the United States and European countries. “In case he gets extradited to India, he could expose Dawood and his aides, who are being kept in Karachi by authorities there,” said a CBI source. “But Mirchi has very strong connections and getting him extradited will be difficult.”
Mirchi, who in the past had admitted to media about meeting Dawood in London several times, had fled Mumbai in the late eighties. He was staying in the UK for the past 20 years and owned a luxury hotel and a six-bedroom house. In April 1995, London’s Scotland Yard had raided Mirchi’s home and arrested him on drugs and terrorism charges in connection with the 1993 blasts, charges which were later replaced with that of the murder in Mumbai of the manager of his London rice mill.