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A week after Iqbal Kaskar’s arrest, Thane police find little evidence to link him to Dawood

However, the Anti Extortion Cell claimed to have come across evidence of close Dawood aide Chhota Shakeel’s connivance with Iqbal in running the extortion syndicate.

mumbai Updated: Sep 29, 2017 10:34 IST
Mumbai news,Iqbal Kaskar
Kaskar, who was deported from the United Arab Emirates in 2003, is said to be operating his brother’s real estate business in the city, the police said.(HT File)

Even more than a week after arresting Iqbal Kaskar in an extortion case, the Thane police are yet to come across evidence to link him with his elder brother, underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

However, the Anti Extortion Cell (AEC) which is investigating the case, claimed to have come across evidence of close Dawood aide Chhota Shakeel’s connivance with Iqbal in running the extortion syndicate. Shakeel now figures as a wanted accused in the case.

A senior AEC official sought to reason out the paucity of evidence in linking Iqbal and Dawood so far by saying that the Pakistan-based fugitive has since long been keeping himself away from the gang’s Mumbai operations to dodge security surveillance.

“In fact, the gang’s entire operation – from extortion to investments – in India has been looked after by Dawood’s trusted aide Chhota Shakeel since the late 1990s” the official said, adding, “ Shakeel is the go-between Dawood and others in Mumbai, including Iqbal. The very involvement of Shakeel is a direct indictment of Dawood’s tacit approval.”

Shakeel, as per the Remand application submitted by the Thane police in the magistrate’s court on Wednesday while seeking an extension of Iqbal’ s police custody, had made extortion demands to the developer through two of the wanted accused, who are hired shooters from Bihar. The calls were made to facilitate Iqbal’s extortion needs.

These shooters would also visit the construction site/s and call up Shakeel to make extortion demands to other developer/s.

In the present case, a Borivli-based businessman, identified as Pankaj Danger, financed the two gunmen. The three of them are currently wanted.

Meanwhile, the police claimed that Iqbal and his cronies had made investments in land, flats and properties in Mumbai, Thane and even outside Maharashtra from the proceeds of their extortion racket. The police have come across information about the same which is being investigated.

Moreover, around Rs90 lakh of the extortion amount, which was knocked out from the Ghodbunder-based developer who has lodged the present case, too was invested in properties. The police, in the Remand application said that are trying to establish the money trail and confiscate the properties acquired by the same.

First Published: Sep 28, 2017 10:45 IST