Dawood eyeing criminal network in Bangladesh: Police

Updated on May 30, 2009 08:30 PM IST

Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted by the Indian government and Interpol, is attempting to expand his criminal network into Bangladesh, a top police officer said in Dhaka on Saturday.

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DPA | By, Dhaka

Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted by the Indian government and Interpol, is attempting to expand his criminal network into Bangladesh, a top police officer said in Dhaka on Saturday.

"Ibrahim has sent his aides to Bangladesh to expand his criminal network out of India," Shahidul Islam, chief of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said while briefing reporters on the capture of two members of Ibrahim's gang - Abdur Rouf Merchant alias Dawood Merchant and Jahid Sheikh.

Bangladeshi detectives captured Indian fugitive Merchant, convicted in 2002 for murdering music magnate Gulshan Kumar, and Jahid from the country's eastern Brahmanbaria district bordering the Indian state of Tripura.

Merchant is believed to have come to Bangladesh on the orders of Dawood Ibrahim, the Dhaka police chief said, adding that the police produced the Indian fugitive in court seeking permission for interrogation.

Both Merchant and Jahid and their Bangladeshi host, identified as Kamal Hussein, were on Saturday remanded in custody for eight days for interrogation to unveil their alleged underworld activities. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Saifur Rahman approved the remand.

Police Commissioner Islam said investigators suspect Ibrahim and his aides had links to smuggling 10-truckloads of weapons through Bangladesh's prime Chittagong port in 2004.

The smuggling attempts were thwarted by lawmen while the sophisticated weapons were being unloaded from motorboats at a port jetty.

Merchant, however, told reporters that he had fled India fearing he would be killed by the police.

During primary interrogation, Merchant said he entered Bangladesh May 2 after he was released on parole from a Mumbai jail for 14 days on the grounds of his mother's illness.

Police have also taken a Bangladeshi passport from Merchant, with which he had apparently managed to travel to a third country.

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