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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Mirchi’s extradition to India denied twice

Apart from running a major drug syndicate, Dawood aide was also involved in match-fixing and betting.

mumbai Updated: Aug 16, 2013 08:29 IST
Mohamed Thaver/ Debasish Panigrahi
Mohamed Thaver/ Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times

Apart from running a major drug syndicate, Dawood aide was also involved in match-fixing, betting

Once ranked as one of the world’s 50 drug barons, Muhammad Iqbal Memon, better known as Iqbal Mirchi, was arrested twice in London, but the Indian authorities could never get their hands on him.

Rizwan Merchant, Mirchi’s lawyer in Mumbai, confirmed that the Dawood aide had died of a heart attack in London on Wednesday.

Mirchi, 63, lived in a six-bedroom house in Essex, northeast of London.

In April 1995, officers from the Scotland Yard had raided Mirchi’s home and had arrested him on drugs charges and for his alleged role in the 1993 blasts in Mumbai.

However, the investigating agencies could not find any evidence linking him to the serial blasts.

When Indian authorities approached the UK for Mirchi’s extradition, they were turned down.

India had yet another chance in October 2011, when Mirchi was arrested by the Metropolitan Police for threatening to kill a 41-year-old man, one Nadeem A Kader, also from Essex.

The CBI attempted to revive its extradition request, but did not succeed again.

Originally from the Null Bazaar area of south Mumbai, Mirchi was identified as Iqbal Mirchi as his family was in the red chilli powder business.

After venturing into drug smuggling and the hospitality industry in Mumbai, he fled the country in the early 1990s.

By 1992-93, Mirchi had made London his new base and owned several restaurants and rice mills there.

A big name in international narcotics trade, Mirchi had reportedly shifted his interests to cricket betting in the past few years.

According to sources close to the Dawood gang, Mirchi had a major role to play in handling the gangster’s narcotics syndicate, which may now suffer.

A source told HT, “In international narcotics trade, it is difficult to find buyers. But Mirchi had a loyal network from Africa, Eastern Europe to Latin America and North America. Dawood’s syndicate benefited from his network.”

First Published: Aug 16, 2013 08:24 IST