FPJ Exclusive: Head of Dawood's Drug Empire arrested; Sold Drugs through Food Delivery Agents

FPJ Exclusive: Head of Dawood's Drug Empire arrested; Sold Drugs through Food Delivery Agents

Shirazi was the founder and Managing Director of Falisha Technoworld, which invested ₹30 crores in Hustlers Hospitality to operate cloud kitchen startups.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 11:47 AM IST
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Aliasgar Shirazi |

Mumbai police's crime branch apprehended Aliasgar Shirazi, an associate of global narcotics kingpin Kailash Rajput, at Sahar International Airport in the early hours of Tuesday. Shirazi was apprehended while attempting to flee to Dubai.

Shirazi wanted in several drugs-related cases, had invested in Hustlers Hospitality

He was wanted in several cases of drug manufacture, production, trafficking, and distribution. He was the founder and Managing Director of Falisha Technoworld, which invested ₹30 crores in Hustlers Hospitality to operate cloud kitchen startups. An in-depth investigation by The Free Press Journal revealed an intricate web of front companies set up to channel profits of the narco trade into legitimate business for money laundering. He operated Falisha Venture Capital to invest in new startups and Pan Liner Freight Forwarders for narcotics trafficking in international courier parcels. "Falisha Group is a front for money laundering and drug distribution," alleged senior crime branch officials.

Aliasgar had made significant investments in cloud kitchen startups with the intention of utilising online food delivery platforms for drug distribution. Senior crime branch officials explained the modus operandi of the narcotics network, stating, "Drug peddlers were provided with specific codes to place online food orders from 15 different brands operating within the same cloud kitchen. This method allowed them to have their preferred drugs delivered by online food aggregators, thus evading detection. The street peddlers then distributed the drugs to retail consumers."

Big boss actors enlisted by Hustlers Hospitality,

The cloud kitchens were operated by Hustlers Hospitality, in which Aliasgar had invested over ₹30 crores and assumed the role of an additional director alongside promoters Krunal Oza and Dinesh Oza.

Krunal Oza of Hustlers Hospitality

Krunal Oza of Hustlers Hospitality |

Hustlers Hospitality had enlisted a few struggling actors, including Big Boss contestant Abdu Rozik and Shiv Thakare, in an attempt to establish a chain of cafés as a facade for laundering drug money. Cafe Burgiir and Thakare’s Chai & Snacks were among the cafés operated by Aliasgar, serving as a front to expand drug distribution and legitimize the proceeds of narcotics. The two Big Boss contestants received a meager signing amount of ₹25 lakhs and were promised substantial royalties based on sales. The contracts, allegedly signed for ₹25 crore investments in the cafés, operated under the Abdu and Thakare brand names.

Mumbai Police is also investigating the involvement of a Mumbai-based advocate in facilitating the investment of narcotics funds belonging to Kailash Rajput and Aliasgar into Bollywood and fast food cafe chains.

Shiv Thakare with Abdu Rozik

Shiv Thakare with Abdu Rozik |

Shirazi, Rajput were held in 2013, fled from India after bail

Aliasgar Shirazi and Kailash Rajput were apprehended by Sameer Wankhede, the Deputy Commissioner of Airport Customs, Air Intelligence Unit, back in 2013 during a seizure of 50 kgs of Meth and Ketamine. However, after obtaining bail, they managed to flee to the UAE initially and then later to Europe. Despite their arrests, the duo continued to operate their vast narcotics trafficking empire, involved in the manufacturing and distribution of drugs as part of the global drug trade.

In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, Aliasgar's name resurfaced when the Mumbai Police Property Cell discovered a significant drug consignment that was being trafficked through courier parcels. Another drug trafficker, Sajid Badshah Mirza, was apprehended in connection with the case. As a result, a lookout circular (LoC) and an Interpol Red Corner notice were issued for Aliasgar. The authorities were actively seeking his arrest in relation to the drug trafficking investigation.

Rajput involved in laundering drug money into Indian economy

According to another narcotics official, the kingpin of the Dawood drug empire, Kailash Rajput, is involved in laundering drug money into the Indian economy through a network of shell companies and fictitious business entities located in Dubai, UK, USA, Portugal, Australia, and Turkey. These funds are then channeled into various start-ups and venture capital seed funds. Allegedly, several hundred crores of narco money is laundered each week to finance legitimate businesses.

Hustlers Hospitality promoter Krunal Oza refrained from providing any comment regarding the allegations of drug money investments made by Aliasgar in his cloud kitchen business.

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