Thursday, 5 May 2011

Dawood Ibrahim

Dawood Ibrahim

Dawood Ibrahim (born Sheikh Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar; December 26, 1955), is an Indian underworld leader and crime boss. Dawood's D-Company has been identified as a criminal-terrorism syndicate by the US Congress. Dawood is currently on the Interpol wanted list for organised crime and counterfeiting, besides association with Al-Qaeda as identified in UN Security Council resolutions 1822 (2008) and 1267 (1999). He was No. 4 on the Forbes 2008 list of The World's 10 Most Wanted criminals, and no. 50 on the Forbes 2009 list of The World's Most Powerful People.

Dawood Ibrahim is accused of heading a vast and sprawling illegal empire and the owner of notorious D Company. After the 1993 Bombay bombings, which Ibrahim allegedly organized and financed, he became India's most wanted man. According to the United States, Ibrahim maintained close links with al-Qaida's Osama bin Laden. As a consequence, the United States declared Dawood Ibrahim a "global terrorist" in 2003 and pursued the matter before the United Nations in an attempt to freeze his assets around the world and crack down on his operations. The Bush administration imposed several sanctions on Ibrahim and his associates. Indian and Russian intelligence agencies have pointed out Ibrahim's possible involvement in several other terror attacks, including the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Indian intelligence agencies, such as Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), claim that some of his addresses include House No. 37, 30th street, DHA, Karachi and White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan, and is provided protection by Pakistani intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The issue of extradition of Dawood Ibrahim is one of the major hurdles in the frosty relations between India and Pakistan.

Biography and criminal-career

Early life

Dawood's foster brother Hanif Seven recalls:

‘‘Nobody ever guessed that Dawood and his brothers would one day be so rich, running a mafia network across the globe,’’ says Mohammed Hanif Ibrahim Kaskar alias Hanif Seven, who is now a small-time contractor in Dongri, after having spent 11 years in jail on a drug charge.

In Dawood's home, kitchen vessels were often empty.The senior Kaskar - Dawood's father, a police havaldar - would wait for visits from erstwhile smuggling kingpins Haji Mastan and Karim Lala, who would give them some baksheesh (money) to keep them going.

Dawood and older brother Shabir took to small-time textile and low-value goods smuggling while Noora and Anees worked in a garage near Maharashtra College. The family usually met at dinner and shared the day’s experiences.

Hanif Seven says it was the father who was instrumental in making the brothers what they are today. ‘‘Whenever there was a complaint, he would pretend to scold them, but would later pat them on their backs,’’ he remembers.

Through Hanif’s tale emerges the story of Dawood Ibrahim’s changing fortunes. In 1977, he and some associates looted a boat carrying contraband off Haji Ali. The 12 partners distributed among themselves goods valued at around Rs 14 lakh at that time (which equals Rs 1.26 crore in the year 2011, adjusted for inflation). Suddenly the family saw money. Soon, Dawood was seen driving a second-hand white chevrolet malibu car and visiting expensive tailors.

Trouble started when he crossed swords with Basu Dada from nearby Telli Mohalla. Dada ran an akhada and had musclemen like Khalid Pehalwan, Anjum Pehalwan and Lalkhan Pehalwan for support. Dawood then formed an alliance with Bauji Saheb and Rama Naik to balance the power equation. His gang then came to be known as Young Company and later, the D-Company.

When Dawood was young, his father police constable Ibrahim Hassan Kaskar knew the then Don Haji Mastan. With Haji’s help, he opened an electronics shop for his son Dawood. In this electronics shop of Manish Market, now smuggled goods started coming in. Haji delegated the responsibility of smuggling electronics’ goods to Dawood. These were Dawood’s initial days in the smuggling business. However, Syed Batla, a local hoodlum working for Mastan, suspected that Dawood was getting writings against him published in a newspaper. So Batla killed the editor of the newspaper. The editor of Urdu daily Rajdar, Iqbal Naatik was a good friend of Dawood’s. Batla was unaware that Naatik was also a friend of Haji. When Haji got to know of this he verbally abused Batla and also slapped him. Dawood was not satisfied with this and was thinking of getting Batla killed. Thus Dawood decided to split up with Mastan.

Siddhi Mohalla is an old five-storey building at the Bhendi Bazaar junction in Bombay. On its terrace, the ‘old hats’ had held their “sacred meeting” in 1980, demarcating territorial boundaries for the gangs to operate. On one side were the Pathans, headed by Samad Khan, Syed Batla and Amirzada. On the other side of the table were the Konkanis, led by Dawood. “Dawood breached the pact and attacked Batla. This incident catapulted him to the upper echelons of the underworld,” said an old-timer who had seen Dawood grow from a small-time smuggler to one of the world’s most wanted men.

Early crimes

From being a retail extortionist to being the third most wanted don of the world, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar (54) has indeed come a long, long way in a highly-globalised underworld. Said Munawar Amin, a long-time resident of Bhendi Bazar, in whose mean streets Dawood, son of a constable, grew up: "Along with his brother Shabbir, he used to extort money from the Moplah businessmen who sell smuggled goods in our area. Nobody visualised that he would go up so high in mafiadom."

With his friends and brothers, he would go down to the bustling Crawford Market and scam gullible bargain hunters. "His first trick was to offer a customer an expensive foreign watch," recalled a member of his youthful gang. "After taking the money, he would vanish, while the customer would be discovering that saddam suri had switched the watch for a stone or some such worthless object during the wrapping"(Glenny 127). A natural leader, by his late teens Ibrahim had formed his own gang, Dodi Omar Company, or D-Company. He was charged with murder as a result of his audacious bid to destroy the near monopoly enjoyed in the underworld by the competing Lala clan. D-Company emerged victorious after an intense period of bloodshed, but Ibrahim was forced to flee his beloved Bombay, and by all accounts he has never overcome his melancholy at leaving.

He is said to have begun his real criminal career in Bombay working for the Karim Lala gang (which later became his own gang's rival) exploiting the rapid expansion in the Bombay (now Mumbai) textiles industry to his advantage, though another version says that he began his criminal career working as a carrier for smuggler Haji Mastan. In either case, he eventually split from both of them and started his own gang, D-Company. He soon moved his residence to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he has business interests alongside India. Dawood started out smuggling gold, expanded into various forms of extortion, and finally turned to trafficking in heroin bound for Europe and Mandrax (an addictive sedative) going to South Africa with the help of international mafia don shahnawaz khan.

Net worth

His net worth is said to be $6–7 billion making him the third richest criminal in world history and his ‘business interests’ are spread across India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Dubai, Germany, France, the UK and several countries in Africa. Some sources estimate his net worth at close to 900 billion rupees (~$20 billion). Despite this, he has never been listed by the Forbes in its annual list of billionaires, though other criminals such as Joaquín Guzmán Loera have been, putting the size of Dawood's fortune in question. Some sources say that his net worth is less than one billion dollars because he has never been included in any 'Rich Lists'. But he has however been listed in other Forbes categories and in 2008 Forbes ranked him among the top 10 most wanted fugitives; the following year, Ibrahim made the magazine's list of the world's most powerful people.


The Tribune mentions the following information about Don Dawood:

Name: Dawood Sheikh Ibrahim Kaskar
Father’s name: Late Sheikh Ibrahim Ali Kaskar
Mother’s name: Late Amina
Wife’s name: Mehjabeen, alias Zubeena Zareen
Children: Mahrukh, 25 years; Mehreen, 23 years; Moeen, 20 years; Atif Aslam 25 years; Maria, 14 years.
Siblings: Brothers - Late Noor-ul-Haq alias Noora (allegedly shot dead by gangsters in Karachi); Anees Ibrahim Kaskar; Iqbal Kaskar; a sister known as Aapi (reportedly 11 siblings, names of others not known)

Crimes by family members

Sameer Wagle (33), He is the son of Dawood’s elder sister Shahida and runs a travel agency at Mazgaon. He, along with four others, was arrested by the Byculla police in February 2006 on charges of extortion. The accused were arrested after the victim, confined in a room at Dockyard Road, dialled 100. The police then rescued the victim and his brother. The suspects had allegedly forced the victim to sign on a stamp paper, giving Wagle the ownership rights of his butcher shop at Mazgaon. Haseena and her associates had taken Rs 1 crore from him “to help sell off a property’’. However, the deal never materialised. When Avlani demanded his money back, he was allegedly threatened. Avlani then approached the police. The crime branch has filed a chargesheet against Haseena. The trial is pending.

Danish Parkar (28), Another nephew, he was Haseena’s son. There was one criminal case registered against him in the JJ Marg police station. He died in a road accident in 2005. His friends allege he was killed in a “planned operation’’.

Iqbal Kaskar , Dawood’s younger brother, he was deported from the UAE in 2003 and booked in murder and land-grabbing cases. He was subsequently discharged from the murder case. On June 14, 2007 a special MCOCA court acquitted him in the controversial Sara-Sahara shopping complex case for lack of evidence. With no cases pending against him, Kaskar was released from jail.

Haseena Parkar , Dawood’s younger sister, she came under the crime branch scanner in 2006 for allegedly extorting money from a builder. While the 48-year-old widow managed to dodge the police, her lawyers proved in the court that it was not a case of extortion but cheating and was granted bail. A real estate broker, Vinod Avlani, had complained to the police that Parkar had threatened him.

Sajid Wagle (38) , Dawood’s nephew, Sajid Wagle, was arrested in July 2008 for targeting cable operators in several areas of south Mumbai. Popularly known as Bhanja, Wagle has a group of boys working for him who go about threatening cable operators to pay hafta. The don’s nephew owns Nawaz cable and internet service agency. Son of a technical head clerk in the Merchant Navy, Bhanja is the second among four siblings. He was earlier arrested in February 2008 in an extortion case. A Std-VI dropout, Wagle, stepped into the world of crime in 1999 when he was first arrested in connection with an extortion case. Though Bhanja has never met his uncle in the past 25 years, he never fails to use his name. His mother, Shahida who was Dawood’s elder sister, has died.

Main crimes

Narcotics trafficking & money-laundering

Dawood Ibrahim is believed to control much of the 'hawala' system , which is the commonly used unofficial system for transferring money and remittances outside the view of official agencies, mainly proceeds from narcotics trafficking and illegal business dealings. Much of the organisation's operations are in India.


Ibrahim is widely believed to have masterminded the 1993 Bombay Bombings, a series of terrorist attacks carried out in the city on March 12 of the year. In 2003, the Indian and United States governments declared Ibrahim a "Global Terrorist". The Deputy Prime Minister,described it as a major development and that India stands "vindicated". Ibrahim is currently on India's "Most wanted List".

The United States Department of Treasury has also designated Ibrahim as a terrorist as part of its international sanctions program — effectively forbidding U.S. financial entities from working with him and seizing assets believed to be under his control. The Department of Treasury keeps a fact sheet on Ibrahim which contains reports of his syndicate having smuggling routes from South Asia, the Middle-East and Africa shared with and used by terrorist organisation al-Qaeda. The fact sheet also said that Ibrahim's syndicate is involved in largescale shipment of narcotics in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. He is also believed to have contacts with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden. In the late 1990s, Ibrahim traveled in Afghanistan under the Taliban's protection. The syndicate has consistently aimed to destabilize the Indian government through riots, terrorism and civil disobedience.

Washington added that they will request the United Nations to list Ibrahim "in pursuance of relevant Security Council resolutions". The UN listing will require that all UN member states freeze Ibrahim's assets and impose a travel ban. Juan Zarate, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, said that they are committed to identifying and attacking financial ties between terrorism and the underworld. Ibrahim is also suspected to have connections with terrorist organisations, and in 2002 was linked to the financing of increasing attacks in Gujarat by Lashkar-e-Toiba. New Delhi handed over to Islamabad a list of 38 most wanted criminals, including Ibrahim.
In a major blow to Ibrahim, ten members of his gang were arrested by Mumbai Crime Branch on November 21, 2006. They were extradited from the United Arab Emirates, from where they had been deported.

Sources reported in India Today indicate that Dawood Ibrahim provided the logistics for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

United States deportation resistance

In January 2002, a month after the Parliament attack, Indian officials visited the US, where they had meetings with Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. A list of the Top 20 most-wanted terrorists in Pakistan was handed to the US. Ibrahim was wanted in connection with the 1993 Bombay serial blasts.

Ajmal Amir Kasab, a gunman arrested for participation in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 173 (164 civilians and security personnel and 9 terrorists), has confessed to authorities according to reports that Ibrahim's organization provided arms and explosives to the Lashkar-e-Toiba group that were used to carry out the attacks.

Recent Developments

The past few years have seen a dramatic decline in Dawood's fortunes from the heady heights of the life depicted in Portrait of a Don - the exposé by Ghulam Hasnain in 2001.
Firstly came the death of Sharad Shetty, Dawood's financier and long term confidant, an assassination carried out by Dawood's long time rival Chotta Rajan. News media outlets reported the murder as a sign of a dramatic shift of power between the crime lords. This was the seminal event in a series of blows to his criminal empire from which Ibrahim has never fully recovered. The loss of Shetty was followed by the declaration by the United States Treasury Department declaring Ibrahim a global terrorist because of his links with Osama bin Laden. Ibrahim then lost one of his closest aides, Pakistani Underworld Don Shoaib Khan (not to be confused with the Pakistani cricketer also named Shoaib Khan) in 2005. Shoaib allegedly died due to a 'heart attack' though he had no such previous condition. However Dawood is still considered a strong figure and enjoys influence in the Indian underworld.

Popular culture

Dawood Ibrahim's life has been subject of Bollywood films.

• Company - based on rift between Ibrahim and Chota Rajan.
• Risk - based on Ibrahim's life.
• D - based on Ibrahim's rise and growth.
• Black Friday - based on the 1993 Bombay bombings.
• Shootout at Lokhandwala - based on five gangsters active in 1991
• Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai - based on Haji Mastan and Ibrahim

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