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Friday,14-May-2021

Crime

From acquiring citizenship of a Caribbean country, Dawood bought new properties in Karachi

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Nestled in the beautiful Windward Islands of the Caribbean, the Commonwealth of Dominica (CoD) is a country with a small population of less than 80,000 people. With the help of Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, underworld don Dawood Ibrahim has acquired the passport of CoD under its Economic Citizen Programme, reveals the latest dossier on the Karachi-based kingpin of D-Company, prepared by Indian intel agencies.

As India alerted CoD, the Don’s best laid plans of escaping to the Caribbean were spiked.

The dossier submitted to the UN and partially accepted by Islamabad lists eight addresses of Dawood, including six in Karachi. Pakistan has admitted only three out of these eight addresses. These are the White House in Clifton, House at 30th Street, Defence Housing Authority and a palatial bungalow in the hilly area of Noorabad in Karachi.

The dossier mentions a new address where Dawood has purchased an entire floor at Mehran Square in Clifton area. Another new house has been purchased in the Shireen Jinnah Colony, near the Ziauddin Hospital in Clifton. Dawood, who is not in the best of health usually gets admitted in Ziauddin hospital. Dawood has also bought two bungalows on the posh Margalla road in Islamabad.

The dossier says that Dawood’s younger brother Anees Ibrahim, who controls the financial empire of D-Company, lives with his family at bungalow DC-13, Block 4 Clifton road. Not far from this place, Chota Shakeel who controls underworld activities, resides in the Defence Housing Authority area. Dawood’s two other brothers Humayun and Mustakeen also shuttle between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Humayun, who looks after some of the legitimate businesses of D-Company mostly lives in Karachi.

The dossier reveals that the D-company’s main underworld activities are focussed around narcotics dealings, gun running, money laundering and hawala operations. However, the organised crime gang, rated as one of the top ten in the world, has purchased real estate properties running into billions of rupees. The D-Company has assets in Pakistan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. It also runs betting syndicates in cricket, mostly operating from Dubai.

The gang has links with terror networks. Dawood had masterminded the 1993 Bombay serial bombings, a series of terrorist attacks carried out in the city on March 12 of the year.

In 2003, the Indian and the US governments declared Dawood a ‘Global Terrorist’.

He has also provided the logistics for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. The US’ Department of Treasury has also designated Dawood as a terrorist as part of its international sanctions program.

The Department maintains a fact sheet on Dawood that contains reports of his syndicate having smuggling routes from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa shared with the terrorist organization Al Qaeda.

Crime

Jail warden in UP faces action for chaining nonagenarian

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The Yogi Adityanath government has suspended the Etah jail warden Ashok Yadav after a video showed a 90-year-old prisoner chained to a hospital bed in the jail.

A departmental inquiry has also been ordered against him.

A photograph of the old man, who had been hospitalized after he complained of respiratory problem, had gone viral earlier in the day.

DG jails, Anand Kumar had sought a report from the supervisory officer.

Giving information about the action on the Twitter handle of DG prisons, Kumar said that no officer or employee will be spared.

The prisoner’s chains have been removed.

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Crime

Navneet Kalra denied anticipatory bail in O2 concentrator case

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A Delhi court on Thursday declined to grant anticipatory bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with the oxygen concentrator black marketing case registered by Delhi Police.

Additional sessions judge, Saket court, Sandeep Garg passed the order rejecting anticipatory bail to Kalra.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Kalra, had argued that his client had only carried out a legitimate transaction of import and customs authorities were activated, and the customs was aware of the transaction. “The GST was deposited with the government. Invoices were given and returns were filed,” Pahwa had contended before the court.

However, according to the prosecution, Kalra, along with other co-accused, hatched a conspiracy to wrongfully make money by inducing the public to buy oxygen concentrators from him at an “exorbitant rate”. Delhi police had opposed his anticipatory bail plea stating that the investigation was at a very early stage, and it required Kalra’s custodial interrogation to unearth his relationship with other parties.

Kalra’s counsel had argued that all rules were complied and the transactions of sale were through banking channels. He further added that oxygen concentrators are not cosmetic, not luxury, instead it was used when somebody is medically unfit. “When selling through banking channels, where is the offence”, Kalra’s counsel had submitted.

The prosecution had argued that no anticipatory bail could be granted to “influential persons” who could tamper with evidence. The prosecution further argued Kalra made a lot of money by inducing the needy public to believe that his oxygen concentrators were premium, and also cited a report from Sri Ram laboratory, that the sample of oxygen concentrator was of poor quality.

Kalra’s counsel had pointed out that there was no MRP fixed by the government till date, therefore the prosecution assertion that the price at which his client sold oxygen concentrator was exorbitant, was not correct. “We could not find a single notification, which fixes the price of oxygen concentrators”, said Kalra’s counsel.

He further added that his client was being “framed” based on social media content and he was being made a scapegoat to divert attention from more pressing issues. “It is being deliberately done. A campaign is going on against me”, added Kalra’s counsel.

Police have also alleged that through social media posts, it has come to notice that Kalra had collected advance payments from several persons who required oxygen concentrators, but he kept postponing the supply and increased the price.

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Business

Mumbai court slaps notice to attach diamantaire Nirav Modi’s assets

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Nirav Modi. (File Photo: IANS)

Fresh legal troubles are brewing in Mumbai for the fugitive diamantaire Nirav D. Modi, currently seeking bail and battling extradition proceedings in a UK Court, officials said here on Thursday.

A Special Court under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 has slapped notices to Nirav Modi and his sister Purvi Mehta — who turned approver five months ago — besides his group companies, ordering them to appear before the Special Judge V.C. Barde on June 11, in Mumbai.

Barde has also asked them to show cause why the Special Court should not attach the properties and assets of the two siblings and the other group companies under the law, in a money-laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in early 2018.

The development comes exactly three-and-half-years after Nirav Modi, several of his family members, his maternal uncle Mehul C. Choksi and others were accused of perpetrating a stunning fraud of around Rs 14,000-crore in the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Even before PNB admitted to the fraud and lodged a formal police complaint in January 2018, it emerged that Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others had already fled the country as the Central Bureau of Investigation and ED launched their independent probes.

Besides the ‘Mama-Bhanja’ duo, Modi’s group companies like Stellar Diamonds, Firestar International Ltd, Radashir Jewelery Co. Pvt. Ltd., Firestar Trading Pvt. Ltd., Solar Exports, Diamonds R Us, Firestar Diamond International Ltd., Mac Business Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., Bentley Properties Pvt. Ltd. and Nirav Modi Trust, were under the scanner of the CBI-ED sleuths and are named in the Special Court’s latest notices.

Shortly afterwards, in Feb. 2018, a Mumbai Magistrate ordered a non-bailable warrant against Modi, in June 2018, the InterPol issued a Red Corner Notice, followed by India’s request in Aug. 2018 to the UK authorities seeking his extradition back home.

It was in March 2019 that a massive furore erupted in India after Nirav Modi was found sauntering on a London street and the Indian authorities went after him with renewed vigour, resulting in his arrest that same month.

As he remains in jail, a UK Court in Feb. 2021 cleared his extradition to India to face charges of bank frauds, money-laundering, etc, even as Purvi and her husband Maiank Mehta turned approvers in the case in January 2021.

Incidentally, in the past couple of years, the ED-CBI has managed to recover small sums by auctioning off Nirav Modi’s assets like half-a-dozen luxury vehicles, designer bags, high-value wristwatches, rare paintings, artworks and other stuff, while his deluxe bungalow in Alibaug, Raigad was attached and demolished in March 2019.

After the PNB scam broke out, over the next couple of years, several other nationalised banks slowly came into the open and reveal how Modi-Choksi had duped and dumped them in various loan accounts.

Meanwhile, in early 2019 it came to light Choksi had acquired the citizenship of Antigua & Barbuda Island in the West Indies in November 2017, and is currently embroiled in a legal tangle over his citizenship and related issues.

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