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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

After decades, Dawood’s name resurfaces in Mumbai’s drug business

Underworld don’s name has cropped up in a July case, in which the Worli police arrested two people from Nagpada and seized 21kg of hashish worth Rs84 lakh from them. Nagpada is Dawood’s stronghold

mumbai Updated: Oct 16, 2017 23:44 IST
Rahul Mahajani and Jayprakash S Naidu
Rahul Mahajani and Jayprakash S Naidu
Hindustan Times
Dawood Ibrahim
Dawood Ibrahim

Did underworld don Dawood Ibrahim have a hand in supplying the 11kg of hashish worth Rs44.88 lakh that was seized from Nagpada on Saturday? The Worli police seem to think so.

Reason: Nagpada is a Dawood’s stronghold. Moreover, this is neither the first time the drugs have been seized in the area nor is it the first time a peddler has been traced there.

In July, the Worli police arrested two people from Nagpada and seized 21kg of hashish worth Rs84 lakh from them. One of the accused, Haji Abdul Rehman Ali Mohammad Sheikh, 67, said he was a businessman from Anantnag in Kashmir.

Sheikh regularly supplied the drug to Mumbai residents and had past records of peddling in the city. The other accused, Irfaan Maisar Qureshi, 42, was a taxi driver and a Nagpada resident. He used his vehicle to transport drugs from outside the city.

Police sources in anti-narcotics cell (ANC) have not ruled out links to terrorism, considering Dawood’s widespread network and his links to Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and drug cartels in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, and in African countries.

So far, the police have determined the gang gets charas from Kashmir and sends it to Gujarat as there are major crackdowns on drugs in Mumbai. Peddlers pick up the drugs from Gujarat and supply them across Mumbai.

“We knew two of Dawood’s key lieutenants, who were in the narcotics and money laundering business. One was Iqbal Mirchi, who operated out of United Kingdom until his death. The other was Altaf Khanani, a Pakistani national who was arrested in the United States,” said a senior police officer, who did not wish to be identified.

With the Jammu and Kashmir police and Indian Army stepping up their efforts to curb terrorist organisations’ fund-raising activities, peddling narcotics seem to be the only alternative, said an ANC officer.

What’s interesting is how these drugs are linked to Gujarat. The last two seizures indicate that the drugs were being brought into Mumbai from Shahpur, a small area in Ahmedabad. Shahpur is another area associated with Dawood. While on the run from the Pathan brothers in the late 70s, he had found shelter there. Police suspect the drugs are also being smuggled into the city from Shahpur, Dariyapur and Kalupur in Gujarat.

ANC officials said they will question the accused and also look at history sheeters associated with the D-Company.

Read more:
Thane police recover more gold extorted by Iqbal Kaskar and his two aides

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 23:44 IST

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