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Don's brother detained? India asks Jeddah

Don's brother detained? India asks Jeddah

Anees Ibrahim wanted for 1993 blasts in Mumbai, Gulshan Kumar murder.

New Delhi: The CBI on Tuesday contacted Saudi Arabian authorities to verify reports that Anees Ibrahim, brother of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and an accused in the 1993 serial blasts, had been detained in Jeddah.

Reports say Anees and his associates Saleem Chiploon and Shamser Dawood, alias Chota Dawood, were detained at the Jeddah airport on Tuesday morning for irregularities in their passports. The three men were reportedly travelling under fictitious names.

“A red corner notice issued by the Interpol is in place against Anees. And we have been on a lookout for him since 1993. That is why we have approached Saudi authorities to verify the reports," a CBI official told IANS.

Mumbai Joint Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria told mediapersons that they were "in touch" with various agencies in New Delhi, including the CBI.

"The only information that we have is that three persons have been detained at Jeddah but we have no confirmation on who they are," said Maria.

"We are trying to verify their identity through our sources but who these persons are we presently do not know," he said.

Anees, with a prize of Rs 10 lakh on his head, is one of the prime accused in the March 12, 1993, Mumbai serial bombings. Anees was also linked to the sensational killing of music baron Gulshan Kumar 10 years ago near a temple in Andheri, a northwest Mumbai suburb.

Anees, who is believed to run his brother Dawood's mafia syndicate along with the trusted retainer, Chhota Shakeel, was declared proclaimed offender in the Mumbai serial blasts, the trial in which ended last year.

Anees was actively involved in the planning, conspiracy, logistics and final implementation of the serial explosions, ranked among the biggest terror operations in the world.

He is also accused in at least 70 cases of murder, attempt to murder, extortion and kidnapping in several states.

Indian investigating agencies could not get their hands on him on two previous occasions. Anees was detained by the Dubai police in 2002, but managed to secure bail and was deported to Pakistan.

Earlier, he was detained by Dubai police in 1996 and later by the Bahrain police but was let off for lack of sufficient evidence against him.

Anees also figures in the much talked of list of 20 criminals and terrorists handed over to Pakistan by the NDA government.

Incidentally, it was Maria who in 1993 as a deputy commissioner of police (crime detection), unearthed the Mumbai blasts conspiracy and also played a significant role in cracking the entire case through painstaking investigations.

The Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia has not confirmed reports of the three detentions. India will find it difficult to get his custody because it doesn't have an extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI)

first published:August 12, 2008, 21:36 IST