Free Press Journal

UK freeze of Dawood assets a win for India


There is fresh trouble for India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim who is believed to have been the mastermind behind the 1993 Bombay blasts which snuffed out 257 lives and injured over 700 people across a dozen locations. Dawood’s assets in the United Kingdom have been frozen by the government there. The Birmingham Mail reported that Dawood owns a hotel in Warwickshire and other residential properties across the Midlands.

Earlier this month, Dawood was the only “Indian national” on an updated list of financial sanctions released by the UK which also listed 21 aliases for the underworld don. The mafia boss appeared on the UK Treasury department’s ‘Consolidated List of Financial Sanctions Targets in the UK’ updated on Monday, with three recorded addresses in Pakistan, where he is reportedly based. Pakistan has repeatedly denied his presence in the country.

His place of birth is recorded as Kher, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, and his nationality is listed as “Indian” with a recorded Indian passport which was subsequently revoked by the government of India and then goes on to list a string of Indian and Pakistani passports acquired by him and misused.

Dawood Ibrahim is identified by Forbes to be one of the richest gangsters of all time. In 2015, it had estimated Dawood Ibrahim’s net asset at $ 6.7 billion. He has his business interests in more than a dozen countries spread over Europe, Africa and South Asia. His assets in UK are worth $450 million. He is said to have invested in over 50 properties in different countries.

Dawood Ibrahim has been named by the UN Security Council’s IS and al-Qaida Sanctions Committee as global terrorist. Some reports suggest that up to 40 per cent of his earnings still come from India. His main business in India is pumping fake Indian currency notes (FICN) though, demonetisation by the Modi government is said to have hurt his business severely.

Another flourishing business with Indian connection is illegal trade in diamonds from South Africa, where his close associate Chhota Shakeel is said to have shifted his base from Dubai. Most of the diamonds mined in South Africa, including those of Dawood Ibrahim’s come to India for cutting and polishing. Chhota Shakeel is also understood to be running Dawood Ibrahim’s crime syndicate in India, recruiting contract killers to do the job in India.