Abdul Rashid Puttur alias `Malabari', a 32-year-old gangster who allegedly played a key role in running Dawood Ibrahim gang's fake currency smuggling operations, was taken into custody by the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Saturday after he got deported from the UAE by the local enforcement authorities late Friday night.
An ATS team picked up Malabari on Friday night after he boarded off a flight from Dubai and was brought to Mumbai on Saturday and produced before a court that remanded him to police custody till December 2.
He was nabbed by local authorities there recently in a case of assault. Malabari belonged to the Chotta Shakeel faction of Dawood gang.
Malabari, a top lieutenant of Aftab Bhatki who is the Dawood gang's chief of their fake currency operations, said ATS Chief Joint Police Commissioner KP Raghuvanshi, is wanted in two fake currency cases being probed by the ATS; Malabari is also involved in four other similar such cases being probed by the Mumbai Crime Branch (two) and Chembur and Nehru Nagar police.
Malabari, said Crime Branch (CB) (detection)'s Deputy Commissioner of police Dhananjay Kamlakar, hails from Kasaragod in Kerala and had arrived in the city in 2000 to join the underworld.
His name figured in the list of 14 alleged Dawood gangsters on whom the Crime Branch had prepared a dossier last week as reported by HT last Saturday.
The CB had prepared the dossier in anticipation of the Union Home Ministry requesting the details to aid deportation of gangsters detained by the UAE authorities recently.
Last week, UAE authorities had detained five Dawood aides - Mohammed Shahidbhai, Mohammed Salim `Frut', Iqbal Kalia, Abdul Qayyum and Aarif Bhaijan - in connection with the stabbing of a bookie and it was expected that they would be deported to the country. Bhaijaan is Shakeel's brother-in-law, while Shahidbhai and `Frut' are his cousins.
According to sources, however, the UAE authorities had since detained nine other Dawood aides, apart from the original five detained earlier. Malabari was one of the nine detained there.
The names of the eight others detained are Salim Chiplun, Javed Chikna, Mustafa Malabari, Zuber, Jamil alias `baba' alias `papa', Aziz `chaipani', Nasir Pakki, and Yusuf `Bhai'. It is not yet clear whether or not another aide named Yusuf Bachkana is detained there.
According to sources, the UAE crackdown on the Dawood gang's aides is actually the result of a developing `rift' between Dawood and his top lieutenant Chotta Shakeel, who are both suspected to be in hiding in Pakistan.
"All the gangsters detained in UAE owe their allegiance directly to Chotta Shakeel and have been therefore targeted by the Dawood gang that helped the local authorities in nabbing them. The Dubai police in fact had also raided the residence of Anwar, Shakeel's brother, but he escaped," said a source.
He added, "Dawood and his brothers, Anees and Noora, feel that Shakeel needs to be cut to size since he has gradually come to control a majority of the gang's operations and shooters".
When asked both Raghuvanshi and Kamlakar said that more deportations of gangsters from the UAE "is expected".