Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
In February 2010 the court in Britain heard Metropolitan Police investigators arrested an individual named Mohammed Hanif Umerji Patel at a house in Ashley Street, Halliwell on an extradition warrant after he skipped bail. At that time, the court was told that Umerji Patel had financed the attacks in India with funds donated to a refugee camp he helped set up.
Mohammed Hanif Umerji Patel was traced to Bolton arrested. He is wanted over attacks that killed an eight-year-old girl and injured 12, amid riots fueled by religious tensions in Surat, Gujarat in India.
In May 2020, it was reported in the media, quoting “top source in the Home Office” stating Britain had refused India’s request to extradite Hanif alias Patel.
The Home Office source told the reporters that Hanif’s extradition was refused by then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, a British politician of Pakistan origin.
The most fearsome background of Mohammed Hanif Umerji Patel is – he is one of the top comrades of Dawood Ibrahim, a notorious terror kingpin.
The 59-year-old Hanif (who also is known as Tiger) was traced to a grocery store in Bolton, Greater Manchester, and arrested by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant from Indian authorities in 2010. Tiger lost his appeal in the UK High Court in April 2013, following which the case was handed over to the UK Home Secretary.
However, after years of pondering over the files, the UK Home Secretary in 2018-19, Sajid Javid, reportedly refused extradition of Tiger Hanif. Sajid Javid, son of a Pakistani bus driver who migrated to England, has a strong following in the British Pakistani community and also believed to have discreet connections with Pakistani ISI.
During his stay in Britain, Hanif had also come in contact with late Iqbal Mirchi, another Dawood aide known for narcotics smuggling in Europe. Mirchi was also wanted by the Indian police but his extradition request was rejected by British courts.
It is also learned from credible sources that another close aide of Dawood, named Jabir Motiwala, who is accused of drug financing is lodged in a British prison and continues to face extradition to the United States of America in case of drug financing. According to the latest information, Motiwala is currently on remans at the crowded Wandsworth prison and rumored to have been affected by coronavirus. Lawyers of several inmates in this prison have already asked the British authorities to release the inmates for the sake of saving their lives from the pandemic.
Jabir Motiwala was arrested in London in August 2018 during a raid at Hilton Hotel on Edgware Road. The US authorities have presented strong legal evidence and several videotapes in the courts to prove that Motiwala was deeply involved in drug trafficking activities and finance operations of the D-company, run from Dawood’s hideout in Karachi.
More about Dawood Ibrahim
Dawood Ibrahim and his infamous D-Company are backed by Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI).
On July 2, 2019 the United States, during an extradition trial of Dawood Ibrahim’s key-aide told a London court that the notorious crime racket don lives in Pakistan. Earlier, Indian intelligence sources had repeatedly claimed that the illegal activities of D-Company, a conglomerate of drug and arms trafficking and money laundering rackets are operated from Pakistan under direct patronization of ISI.
Barrister John Hardy who appeared on behalf of the US government listed out the details of the D-Company and the illegal activities it is involved in in the US while challenging Moti’s plea against his extradition.
“The FBI in New York is investigating D-Company which is based in Pakistan, India and the UAE. The head is Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian Muslim living in exile in Pakistan. He and his brother have been fugitives from India since 1993 and over the past 10 years, D-Company operatives have conducted operations in the US, specifically money laundering and extortion. The FBI investigation has revealed Motiwala reports directly to Dawood and extortion, debt collection and money-laundering are his main jobs,” Hardy was quoted as saying by in The Times of India report.
Earlier, in 2015, Indian security agencies had cited fresh evidence including a telephone bill and a copy of a Pakistani passport indicating Dawood and his family’s presence in Pakistan.
Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company owns properties in Britain and Dubai
Dawood Ibrahim, the 63-year-old mafia boss owns a vast portfolio across the Midlands and south-east in the United Kingdom, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Cyprus, Dominica and Australia.
Details on Dawood Ibrahim’s property portfolios are already described in the UK’s Companies House and the Land Registry as well as the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers. Dawood’s D-Company has been involved in the smuggling of drugs through Pakistan and across Indian borders for shipment to Europe and North and South America. BBC has portrayed the activities of this notorious racket in its series named ‘McMafia’.
Dawood, who is living in Pakistan, is the inspiration behind an Indian underworld don named “Dilly Mahmood” in the eight-part television series, which highlights the misuse of Britain by globally organized crime syndicates.
“Britain features in his (Dawood’s) criminal world as a place where he can launder money — a classic ‘McMafia’ tactic. He is thought to have property interests in a variety of southern English counties like Essex and Kent,” Misha Glenny, who wrote the non-fiction book ‘McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld’ and is an executive producer on the TV series, told newspapers.
“But we can’t know for certain because the government has been dragging its heels in legislating to force transparency of the beneficial owners of companies registered in our overseas territories,” she noted.
According to newspaper reports, on Dawood Ibrahim’s behalf his right-hand man, Muhammed Iqbal “Mirchi” Memon, accrued a vast property portfolio in the UK which includes hotels, mansions, tower blocks and houses in suburbs in the south-east of England.
Memon, also a suspect in the 1993 Mumbai attacks, had sought refuge in London after the blasts and attempts to extradite him to India had failed.
He was never convicted of any crimes and denied his involvement in Ibrahim’s cartel. Memon, who held 11 company directorships in tiling, construction and lettings firms in Britain, died after suffering a heart attack in London in 2013.
Dawood, who has an Interpol red notice against him, has been on the UK Treasury sanctions list for years with three recorded addresses in Pakistan.
Financial sanctions in force in the UK cover measures such as prohibiting the transfer of funds to a sanctioned country and targeted asset freezes on individuals.
In relation to the alleged properties associated with him in the UK, Dawood Ibrahim was likely target for the ‘Unexplained Wealth Orders’ introduced by the UK government in 2018.
UK security minister Ben Wallace, who has described the portrayal of crime bosses in ‘McMafia’ as “very close to the truth”, wanted the “full force of the government” to bear down on criminals and corrupt politicians using Britain as a playground and haven.
“‘McMafia’ is one of those things where you realize that fact is ahead of fiction. It’s a really good portrayal of sharp-suited wealthy individuals, but follow the money and it ends up with a young girl getting trafficked for sex,” he told ‘The Times’ in an interview.
“When we get to you, we will come for you, for your assets and we will make the environment that you live in difficult,” he warned.
Unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) will require individuals suspected of serious crime or involvement in bribery or corruption to explain the source of property valued at more than 50,000 pounds.
For the first time, the UK law also extended recovery powers to cover “politically exposed persons” from countries outside the European Union (EU).
According to an estimation of the UK government, more than 90 billion pounds of illegal cash is laundered in the country every year, while, according to the Transparency International, London is termed as the capital of dirty monies.
Next installment: Dawood Ibrahim’s connections to global jihad
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-jihadist journalist, counter-terrorism specialist and editor of Blitz