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Monday,02-August-2021

Crime

Dawood has large base in Nepal, operates through Pak officials: Ejaz Lakdawala

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Underworld don and erstwhile member of the D-Company, Ejaz Lakdawala, has revealed to Mumbai Police that India’s most-wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim has a large base in Kathmandu, that he uses for pushing Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) into the Indian territory through the porous border and operates with the aid of a few key officials at the Pakistan Embassy in the Nepal capital.

The fugitive gangster, Lakdawala, arrested by the Mumbai Police from Patna on January 8, also disclosed two specific addresses of Dawood Ibrahim in Karachi during his police remand.

The two addresses told to the top officials at the Crime Branch are: 6A, Khayaban Tanzim Phase-5, Defence Housing Area, Karachi and D-13, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi.

One address is of Khayaban Tanzim phase, in Defence Housing Area while the other is of his Clifton-based bungalow in Karachi.

He has also confirmed addresses of Dawood’s brother Anees Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel, who also live in Defence Housing Area of Karachi.

“Officials of other agencies are also questioning Lakdawala. We can only add at this stage that he is a prize catch, who has crucial information about the D-Company’s FICN and drug racket,” a senior official of the Mumbai Police told IANS over phone.

Once hiding in Canada, Lakdawala was also involved in peddling drugs into Europe through Rotterdam port in Netherlands. The gangster revealed that the D-Company’s drug racket was first operated by late Iqbal Mirchi and of late by Chhota Shakeel, who is looking after the lucrative contraband business.

Lakdawala said that much of the drugs are smuggled out of Afghanistan and later pushed through the Karachi port to South East Asia, as well as to destinations in Europe.

The D-Company has significant hold in Thailand and Bangladesh from where drugs are further smuggled to other destinations including India.

Sources said that Ejaz Lakdawala, who along with Chhota Rajan parted ways with Dawood Ibrahim post the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai, had attempted to eliminate the D-Company boss, during the funeral of Dawood’s daughter Maria, in Karachi a decade ago.

The operation was led by Chhota Rajan’s sharp shooter Vicky Malhotra. However Dawood did not turn up at the funeral procession, and the mission had to be aborted. Later, Lakdawala had a dispute over payments with Rajan and established his own gang, somewhere in Cambodia.

Uttar Pradesh-based gangster Babloo Srivastava, presently lodged in Bareilly Central Jail, also had close links with Lakdawala. Both were involved in several cases of extortion across India.

Underworld don Ejaz Lakdawala’s daughter Soniya Lakdawala was also looking after the gangs monetary operations, sources said.

A fake passport, used by Soniya to flee from India, was instrumental in the nabbing of Ejaz Lakdawala.

To hide Lakdawala’s identity, Soniya deliberately used a different name. Sources said that Soniya changed her name to Shifa Shaikh, after her wedding to one Shahid Shaikh from Mumbai. Her name before her wedding, as per her passport, was Soniya Advani.

The father’s name mentioned in the same passport was Manish Advani while her mother’s name was mentioned as Rekha Advani.

Mumbai Police said that at a later stage, to verify certain information, daughter and father would be confronted during interrogation.

The Intelligence reports suggest that D-Company is planning to kill Ejaz Lakdawala once he is lodged in the jail.

Crime

Anil Deshmukh once again skips ED summons

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Former Maharashtra Home Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh, who is being probed in an alleged money laundering case, skipped the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons for questioning once again on Monday.

“Deshmukh has skipped summons and has sent a two-page letter to the agency through his advocate,” an ED official related to the probe told IANS.

This is for the third time Deshmukh has skipped ED summons in connection with the case. The official said the financial probe agency had sent fresh summons to Deshmukh and his son Hrishikesh Deshmukh on Friday asking them to join the probe with the agency on Monday.

On Friday, the Supreme Court did not grant any protection from arrest to Deshmukh on his plea seeking protection from any “coercive action” in the money laundering case registered against him by the ED and scheduled the matter for hearing on August 3.

Deshmukh, who had skipped the previous summonses by the agency, had, in the plea to the top court, challenged these summonses and sought protection for both himself and his son.

Deshmukh has been accused of extortion from a bunch of Mumbai orchestra bars and money laundering, and the matter is being probed by the ED.

It has been alleged that Rs 4.7 crore was collected as “extortion” from the orchestra bars by the now-dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze allegedly on Deshmukh’s instructions.

Later, this amount was transferred to Deshmukh’s Nagpur-based educational trust by his son, Hrishikesh.

According to the allegation, the transaction was routed via two hawala operators and was showed as a “donation”.

The 71-year-old NCP leader is the president of the trust and his two sons, Salil and Hrishikesh, are trustees.

On May 11, a case was registered against the former minister and on June 25, the ED raided Deshmukh’s residences in Nagpur, Mumbai, and three other places.

In April, the CBI had conducted raids at four premises of Deshmukh after registering an FIR against him in connection with the case.

Param Bir Singh, former Commissioner of Mumbai Police, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in “malpractices” and asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month.

Earlier this week, the top court had adjourned the matter for a hearing on Friday and asked Deshmukh’s legal counsel to provide a copy of the plea to the ED and the Maharashtra government.

The ED had earlier arrested Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde after carrying out raids against them and the NCP leader in Mumbai and Nagpur.

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Bollywood

Shilpa Shetty Kundra: We don’t deserve a media trial

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Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra took to social media on Monday to issue a statement, saying she and her family do not deserve a media trial.

Shilpa’s statement comes at a time when her husband, businessman Raj Kundra has been granted judicial custody till August 10 in a case pertaining to alleged production and distribution of porn content.

The actress said she will not comment on the case as it is subjudice and also requested the media for some privacy saying the past few days have been challenging for her “on every front”.

Shilpa shared her statement on Instagram on Monday, which reads: “Yes! The past few days have been challenging, on every front. There have been a lot of rumours and accusations. A lot of unwarranted aspersions on me cast by the media and (not so) well wishers as well. A lot of trolling/questions posed…not only to me but also to my family.”

“MY STAND…I HAVE NOT COMMENTED YET and will continue to refrain from doing so on this case as it is subjudice, so please stop attributing false quotes on my behalf. Reiterating my philosophy of, as a celebrity ‘Never complain, never explain’. All I will say is, as it’s an ongoing investigation, I have full faith in the Mumbai Police & the Indian judiciary,” she added.

“As a family, we are taking recourse to all our available legal remedies. But, till then I humbly request you – especially as a MOTHER – to respect our privacy for my children’s sake and request you to refrain from commenting on half-baked information without verifying the veracity of the same,” Shilpa further wrote.

“I am a proud law-abiding Indian citizen and a hardworking professional for the last 29 years. People have put their faith in ME & I’ve never let anyone down. So, most importantly, I request you to respect my family’s and ‘my right’ to privacy in these times. We don’t deserve a media trial. Please let the law take its course. Satyamev Jayate!” she concluded.

Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s statement talking about her “right to privacy” comes just a few days after the Bombay High Court reportedly refused to restrict media and social media platforms from publishing reports which talk about her. The court reportedly told the Bollywood actress that she has chosen a public life.

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Crime

41,134 new Covid cases, 424 deaths in India in 24 hrs

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India on Monday reported 41,134 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours with 424 deaths, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data showed.

India is registering less than 50,000 daily new cases for 36 continuous days. However, the country has registered marginal decline in fresh Covid cases than Sunday.

On Sunday, India had recorded 41,831 fresh cases of Covid-19. With 424 more Covid fatalities, India’s cumulative death toll now stands at 4,24,773.

India’s active caseload has crossed the four lakh mark and stands at 4,13,718. India’s recovery rate currently stands at 97.35 per cent, however, the active cases constitute 1.31 per cent of the total cases. The weekly positivity rate remains below 5 per cent and is currently at 2.30 per cent. The daily positivity rate continues to remain below 5 per cent for 55 continuous days and currently stands at 2.81 per cent.

The government has advised the states to restrict the gatherings in the districts reporting over 10 per cent positivity rate.

According to the government data, a total of 36,946 patients were discharged from hospitals and health centres in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cured to 3,08,57,467 to date as the virus continues to infect less than one lakh people for the last 54 days.

The Health Ministry data said that a total of 17,06,598 Covid vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hrs taking total jab count to 47,22,23,639 so far.

In a tweet, Health Ministry on Sunday said that India had achieved landmark in vaccination drive against the Covid pandemic and has successfully jabbed over 47 crore people across the country.

The total number of samples tested so far has reached 46.96 crores as on Aug 2.

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