Underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s aide, Abdul Rauf alias Dawood Merchant, was deported to India late on Wednesday and handed over to a team of Mumbai crime branch officials. The process of handing him over to the Indian authorities was completed along the Indo-Bangladesh border in the presence of border security forces.
Mumbai crime branch officials, along with Merchant, left for the city by a morning IndiGo flight that landed at Mumbai’s domestic terminal around 11.25am. He was handed over to the Indian authorities in Meghalaya late on Wednesday night and was then taken to the Guwahati airport via road.
Merchant was produced before the high court on Thursday. He will be handed over to the Mumbra police, who had registered a case against him after he jumped a fortnight-long parole and fled the country in 2009.
he is accused in 10 cases including murder, violation of the Arms Act, attempt to murder and assault.
“A four-member team of the crime branch left for West Bengal a few days ago, after the Bangladeshi government’s informed us regarding Merchant’s deportation. There was close coordination between the Interpols of both countries. Secrecy was maintained on the date of exchange, considering the sensitivity of the matter,” said a police officer.
The official termed Merchant as a “prized catch”, as he had met Dawood’s aides in Dubai a few years ago. He was expected to know “several intricate details” pertaining to the gang and its activities, he said.
Merchant was convicted in the 1997 murder of singer Gulshan Kumar — and was sentenced for life in 2002. He jumped parole in 2009 and went absconding when released to meet his family.
Merchant was re-arrested in Bangladesh after he entered the country without valid documents. He was convicted for intruding and illegally staying in Bangladesh and given a five-year prison term. When he completed the sentence, he was arrested again — in December 2014 — over possible terror links.
He completed his jail term a few days ago, following which the government there decided to hand him over to India citing his criminal conviction and diplomatic communication between the two countries
Mumbai police however stated that Merchant was arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF), while he was trying to cross over into India illegally.
Merchant’s parents stay in south Mumbai and the family runs a transport business.
How the operation unfolded
Bangladeshi authorities deported Abdul Rauf alias Dawood Merchant to India late on Wednesday
Merchant, convicted in Gulshan Kumar murder case, was handed over to India in Dawki, along the Indo-Bangla border
He was produced before a local court there and a transit remand was sought to bring him to Mumbai
He was flown by a four-member Mumbai crime branch Unit 9 team to Mumbai from Guwahati
The sessions court asked him to appear before the high court, which had asked the Mumbai police commissioner to find and produce Merchant before the court in 2010