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Dawood gangster spills the beans

Top deported Dawood gangster Abdul Qayyum Shaikh has provided Crime Branch detailed information about the D-company's gun-running activities, reports Abhishek Sharan.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2007 21:09 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan

He hobnobbed with top global gunrunning cartels and this is what helped him survive in Dubai despite enmity with Dawood Ibrahim's younger brother, Anees.

Top deported Dawood gangster Abdul Qayyum Shaikh (42) has provided Mumbai Crime Branch detailed information about the D-company's gun-running activities and links with international gun-running cartels.

Qayyum is known to have a sharp brain in D-company and has excellent networking abilities.

"Qayyum has admitted to having sent a big arms consignment for the gang," said an officer, requesting anonymity. The consignment included 35 AK-47 assault rifles, which were seized in Rajasthan in 1999.

Qayyum revealed that another top Dawood aide Ejaz Pathan - now lodged in Arthur Road jail - had helped him procure arms from the international gunrunning cartels.

According to Qayyum, Pakistan's ISI ("through unofficial channels") and a former KGB major named Victor Anatoliyevich Bout - one of the world's biggest "illegal" arms suppliers, who had a nexus with the Russian mafia - had helped him and Pathan procure arms and supply to India.

Since 2002, the Crime Branch (CB) has been aware of the role of Qayyum, Pathan, ISI and Bout in smuggling the consignment. Apparently, Pathan had confided the details of the "operation" to a few close aides who were actually the Crime Branch's informers.

"Pathan's disclosure had come at a time when he survived an aborted assassination attempt in Karachi that had been ordered by Dawood and executed by his under-boss Chhota Shakeel," said an officer.

The CB was trying to keep Pathan away from Dawood to weaken the gang.
Qayyum has revealed that over last 15 years, he has built an intricate network of contacts with gun-running cartels run by Bout, Chechnyan rebels, Kenyan and even Chinese.

He even helped Bout in sending arms to Chechnya and to Afghan mujahideens.
According to an IB officer, Qayyum had started a rice-trading company, Star Inc, and transported most of his consignments through Bout's Transavia Aviation Network (comprising 60 aircraft).

"Qayyum had also passed on crucial information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that had led to the arrest of a Mumbai-born gun-runner in the US a few years ago," said the IB source.

Qayyum had evolved into a big gun-runner on behalf of the gang, but over the last few years he admits to having run his operations independently due to his rift with Anees, according to a source.

His contacts with the global cartels kept him going in Dubai although he incurred Anees's wrath. Anees had apparently ordered Shakeel to get him killed a few years ago but the attempt failed.

First Published: Feb 17, 2007 21:09 IST