Mumbai serial blasts accused confesses: ‘I stayed at Dawood’s bungalow in Pak’
Mumbai city news: I did not know that I was wanted in the 1993 bomb blasts case. I was running around only to evade arrest, said Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan.mumbai Updated: Jul 06, 2017 10:10 IST
Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, one of the accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, tells how he got into gold smuggling to make money but landed in the blasts case instead.
Excerpts from his confession to the CBI:
“I was born on May 29, 1970 in a village in Chiplun, Maharashtra. My father worked with the Navy. We stayed in Navy Nagar, Mumbai, until 1985. Until 1993, we lived in the TaxiMan colony. My father, Abdul Rashid Khan, retired from Navy as a petty officer.
I took HSC exams in 1986. Even as I was studying, I worked at Hotel Oberoi, Leela and Kumariya residency as a steward between 1987 and 1989. I met Abu Bakkar [1993 blast accused who is staying in Dubai] when I was looking for a job after 1989.
He told me to work with him. We used to buy smuggled goods such as TV, fridge, VCR and sell it to shopkeepers on Lamington road.
“Mohammad Dossa told me that if police find the weapons, we will be in trouble. Abu Bakkar and I went to Shabbir’s place by jeep and told him all these things. Shabbir, his brother Amir, Abu Bakkar and some others took the boxes and bags and threw them in the sea. We later returned to Mumbai.”
While working with Abu Bakkar, I met his friend, Salim Mira Mohammuddin Shakh alias Salim Kutta. Salim often got into scuffles. Once he assaulted Dawood’s aide because of which the gangster’s men were after his life.
In 1990-91, Abu and Salim learned that Mohammad Dossa and his brother Mustafa were involved in gold and silver smuggling. Their office was near Minara Mosque in Nakhuda. Mustafa used to often stay in Dubai, from where he sent gold and silver consignments. Mohammad used to arrange for landing of the consignment in India and its sale. As our business was not doing well, we thought of joining the Dossa brothers.
We started working for them for a salary of Rs 5,000 a month. Our job was to deliver gold and silver to their customers in Mumbai.
Salim later became Mohammad’s bodyguard. I, too, was given the responsibility of delivering goods to Ajmer, Kolhapur, Indore and Ratlam.
All of us — Mustafa Majnu, Mohammad Dossa, Mohammad Kasam Lajpuria alias mechanic Chacha, Abdul Qayoom Sajni, Afzal Gadbad, Iqbal, Gulam Chishti, Shafi Charsi, Sushil Belve, Shabbir Kadir, Amir Jadia, Salim Kutta, Abu Bakar and many more — started to work together. Yusuf Batka, Ahmad Lambu, Shoeb Baba, Saiyad Qureshi and Salim Kutta were part of the gang known as ‘Arjun Gang’ in Musafir Khana.
By 1992, the Dossas gave Salim Kutta, Mechanic Chacha and me 5% share in their business. Mohammad had special trucks, tempos and cars with hidden compartments to transport the smuggled valuables.
In 1992, I helped in transport of 30-35 consignments at places such as Dighi, Bankot and Shekhadi. Our smuggling activities stopped after Babri demolition.
In January 1993, Mechanic chacha, Salim and some of our group members went to transport another consignment. The responsibility of the landing was on Shabbir. As usual, two trucks with hidden compartments and some more cars were taken from Mumbai. Shabbir and Uttam Poddar made arrangements for trucks, tempos and coolies.
We reached Dighi jetty on January 9. Mechanic chacha and a few other men were already present there.
At night, chacha contacted the ship coming from Dubai. Salim and chacha spoke to Mustafa. The consignment contained 250-300 silver bricks, 25-30 wooden boxes and 15-20 canvas bags.
We took these goods and dumped them in tempos with the help of coolies and left towards the village. Chacha was leading in a Maruti car, while I was with two others in a truck. On the way, the police stopped our truck. After some hassles and arrangements, they let us pass.
We went to Shabbir’s village. The trucks were offloaded on an open ground. The wooden boxes and canvas bags contained AK 56 rifles, bullets, hand grenades, .9 mm pistols.
Lucky Charsi took the truck with silver bricks, Qayoom Sajani took the second truck. On the next day, a commander came in a jeep and took some of the silver bricks and weapons. The remaining wooden boxes and canvas bags were kept near Shabbir’s house and were shifted to a house in the vicinity. Salim and I stayed at Shabbir’s house. We returned to Mumbai after 2-3 days.
I was in Mumbai during the bomb blasts. After two-three days, Mohammad called me and asked me to go to Shabbir’s place. He asked me to collect the remaining weapons and throw them in the sea. Mohammad Dossa told me that if the police find these weapons, we could be in trouble. Abu Bakkar and I went to Shabbir’s place by jeep and told him so. Shabbir, his brother Amir, Abu Bakkar and some others took the boxes and bags and threw them in the sea. We later returned to Mumbai.
On March 18, 1993, Mohammad asked us to flee Mumbai. I escaped to Nepal through Indore, Bhopal, Jhansi, Lakhnow, Varanasi and Baharai. I stayed at a hotel in Indore. In Nepal, I stayed with Mechanic chacha and Salim. Mohammad Dossa paid for our expenses. We also started a general store to increase our income.
“I travelled to Karachi from Dubai and met Dawood Ibrahim. Then, he lived at Moin Palace, Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan. The first time I took some clothes for his family, while the second time I went to attend his brother Humayun’s wedding.”
In 1995, I got a fake passport in the name of Firoz Miya in Nepal. I used this passport to travel to India, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and several other countries. I also got a driving licence in the name of Sagar Khandelwal in Delhi. I travelled to Dubai on this fake passport.
In 1996-97 and 1999, I travelled to Karachi from Dubai and met Dawood Ibrahim. Then, he lived at Moin Palace, Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan. The first time I took some clothes for his family, while the second time I went to attend his brother Humayun’s wedding.
Mohammad asked me to visit him. On both the occasions, I stayed at Moin Palace in Dawood’s guesthouse.
I did not know that I was wanted in the 1993 bomb blasts case. I was running around only to evade arrest. In August 2005, I returned to India on my forged passport. I often used to travel to Dubai and visit my parents and stay with them. I have a house in Sharjah too.
I wanted to start business in Mumbai. I moved an application seeking licence for import and export business before DGFT in the name of Hamza Abdul Rashid Khan.
I have seen many absconders in the 1993 bomb blast case in Dubai and Pakistan. They include Tahir Takliya, Yusuf Batka, Ahmad Lambu, Shoeb Baba, Saeed Qureshi, Abu Bakkar and Mohammad Dossa. In Pakistan, I saw Tiger Memon, Dawood Ibrahim, Anees Ibrahim, Javed Chikna, Ayub Memon and Anwar Theba.”