HT Exclusive: Dawood hunt renewed with Mumbai cops securing non-bailable warrant
The decision to seek a warrant against Dawood was apparently the outcome of an effort to consolidate his criminal activities into a database, according to a source.mumbai Updated: May 21, 2017 07:32 IST
The Mumbai police have secured a non-bailable warrant against gangster Dawood Ibrahim, one of India’s most-wanted criminals and a US-designated global terrorist, in connection with a 1999 fake currency case registered at Sakinaka police station in Andheri.
A source in the intelligence agencies told Hindustan Times that the decision to seek the warrant was the outcome of an effort to consolidate Dawood’s criminal activities into a database. Intelligence agencies are scrutinising every case registered against the gangster and checking if warrants have been issued. Agencies are monitoring Dawood’s criminal activities closely with the help of his friend-turned-nemesis Chhota Rajan, who was deported from Indonesia in November 2015, the source said. Last Tuesday, the Mumbai police petitioned the court that hears cases registered under the state’s organised crime law, the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and sought a warrant against Dawood.
The judge questioned the unusual move, coming as it did after 22 years. He asked the prosecution about the need for such a measure given that the Mumbai police had not taken any significant steps against the gangster for several years.
The prosecution told the court that the police had sanction to prosecute Dawood under MCOCA. After a couple of hearings, the court agreed to issue the warrant on Thursday and the police received it on Friday.
The 1999 case was registered triggered by the arrests of two people – Gulab Jethanand Khemnani and Salim Yaqub Kara – who were found with Rs 5.50 lakh in fake currency on July 2, 1999. Their arrests led to the police to Pakistani national Mohammed Parvez Mohammed Jaffar Soda; Kishore Chetanmal Lalwani alias Lala; and Ashok Awasti. The police seized another Rs 5 lakh in fake currency from them. Four more men were arrested subsequently – Gullu Ghansham Hashmatrai Lakhani alias Gul; Tejas Manjibhai Patel alias Teja, Ajgarali Kurban Hussain Mandsarewala, and Raju Ramchand Sachdeo.
Khemnani told the police that the fake currency was being sent from Pakistan by Dawood’s aide Mohammed Tariq Khan alias Baba. He said he got involved in the racket through his friend Lalwani, whom he had heard talk to Baba and Dawood about flooding India with fake currency.
The nine men were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail. On December 20, 2006, the high court upheld their conviction but halved their sentences.
Though Dawood and Tariq were mentioned as absconding accused in the case, the police had never obtained warrants for their arrests, or even sought permission to continue investigating their activities since filing the charge sheet in 1999. This lapse created a hurdle for them when they approached the court 22 years later; it took a few hearings for the prosecution to explain why the police and intelligence agencies needed the warrant.