Feroze Abdul Rashid Khan alias Hamza, a prime accused in the 1993 serial blasts case, was arrested by the Mumbai crime branch on Friday after dodging police for 17 years.
The 40-year-old was an aide of Mohammed Dossa, a key player in the bombings.
Hamza was held in Kopri, Navi Mumbai. He had returned from Oman on February 3.
JCP (Crime) Rakesh Maria confirmed the arrest, saying the Central Bureau of Investigation was quizzing Hamza.
The fugitive, who carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head, had coordinated the landing of arms and ammunition for the bomb blasts at Dighi. He had also helped transport them by hiding them in cavities in vehicles, Maria said. “He even hid some guns and hand grenades at his residence.”
Hamza lived in Taximen’s Colony at Kurla at that time. He was also very close to Dawood aide Mustafa Majnu.
Maria said Hamza escaped to Dubai on March 17, 1993. “He travelled to Pakistan three to four times between 1996 and 1998 and met underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, co-accused Tiger Memon, gangsters Abu Salem and Anees Ibrahim, and other D-gang members,” Maria said. “He used stay at Dawood’s residence.”
The police said Hamza even attended the weddings of Dawood’s brothers, Humayun and Mustaqim.
Maria said Hamza, who traded in cellphone parts, first fled to Nepal and got a passport in the name of Ferozeuddin. He then travelled to Dubai, China, Qatar and Oman.
In 2004, when Hamza’s passport was to expire, he came to New Delhi and took a train to Mumbai. He got an Indian passport in the name of Hamza Abdul Rashid in 2005.