Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Until 1997, notorious terror don Dawood Ibrahim’s total stake in the international narcotics trade was around quarter billion dollars, which has increased many folds during the past 23 years and now it stands between US$ 10-15 billion. Dawood operates his narco-trade through his racket named D-Company that operates mainly from Dubai.
According to media reports and intelligence sources, D-Company distributes cash against crops amongst the opium growers in the North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan. Later, raw opinion is transported to Karachi by land routes. Once the raw opium consignments reach Karachi, the major port city in Pakistan, where D-Company has a huge base, it is processed into heroin. Later, heroin finds its way to Rajasthan and Gujarat in India and then on to Mumbai – all via land route.
In Mumbai, consignments of heroin are repacked and distributed to agents and then transported to Tamil Nadu, wherefrom it is shipped to Colombo in Sri Lanka by land and sea routes. From Sri Lanka, these narcotic consignments are smuggled to the United Kingdom, France, and Germany through ocean-liners and air routes. Heroin consignments are also repacked in water-proof packets and shipped from Gujarat to West African countries, such as Ghana, Nigeria via Mumbai.
Dawood Ibrahim and his D-Company operates directly under the care of Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI). The D Company’s headquarters are in Karachi, its operations bases are in Dubai and Mumbai. But, for the past few years, D-Company also has established a third base in Colombo, initially with the help of Tamil Tigers and now directly under the active participation of the Sri Lanka-based jihadist outfits, including Islamic State.
According to intelligence reports, D-Company’s operations have already expanded across Asia, Europe, and West Africa, while it also has established bases in South America and Canada. This racket is dealing in narcotics, arms, and explosives. It is also actively involved in extortion, contract killing, and money laundering, while it has been putting a large amount of cash into film industries in India. Most of the cine-stars in India are regularly meeting Dawood Ibrahim (who is known as ‘Bhai’) for getting his blessings. Mamta Kulkarni, a star in Bollywood was not only backed by Dawood Ibrahim, she had finally left India, married one of Dawood’s accomplices, and joined the narco-trafficking racket.
Kulkarni, a former actress of hit films like Ghatak and Karan Arjun, came under the scanner of Mumbai and Thane police in India in a drug trafficking and money laundering investigation. According to media reports, Kulkarni is the face of an international drug ring. Married to Vicky Goswami, a Kenya-based dubious businessman, who had later been revealed as the kingpin of a large global operation, Kulkarni allegedly struck deals with drug networks, routing huge transactions through illegal money transferring channel. She is suspected of dealing with clients in Dubai, Singapore, and Mumbai.
In April 2016, the police seized a record haul of 20 tons of ephedrine, a critical ingredient in the manufacture of crystal meth, in Thane, a Mumbai suburb in India. The ephedrine was to be routed to East Europe through a network that Vicky Goswami heads. Goswami has done jail time in Dubai for 15 years for drug trafficking and has an Interpol notice against his name.
Vicky and Mamta were held at the Nairobi airport in 2014 on suspicion of trafficking, but were released later and got vanished. It was later learned that Mamta Kulkarni is shuttling between Karachi (Pakistan) and Dominica with a foreign passport. It may be mentioned here that, a large number of the members of D-Company have purchased citizenship in Dominica.
Another source claimed Mamta Kulkarni was living in Mexico, under the protection of a business ally of Dawood Ibrahim.
It is not only the case of Mamta Kulkarni but, according to intelligence sources, several film stars in Tamil, Telegu, Orissa, and Kolkata film industries are connected to the D-Company racket.
Despite continuous efforts of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the world, activities of D-Company have been steadily growing. But, the most alarming news is about a marriage between D-Company and a number of jihadist outfits, including Islamic State, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
Read next installment: Connections between D-Company and LTTE
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-jihadist journalist, counter-terrorism specialist and editor of Blitz