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Dawood Ibrahim: From Constable's Son to India's Most Wanted Man

Amid rumours that underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim is critical in a Karachi hospital, one is reminded of the terror his men once wreaked in Mumbai.

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Updated:April 29, 2017, 8:32 AM IST
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Dawood Ibrahim: From Constable's Son to India's Most Wanted Man
File photo of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

New Delhi: Amid rumours that underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim is critical in a Karachi hospital, one is reminded of the terror his men once wreaked in Mumbai.

Dawood Ibrahim is charged with masterminding the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts, in which more than 250 people died. Now based in Pakistan, he is said to have had links with al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

ALSO READ | Dawood Ibrahim Critical in Karachi After Heart Attack: Reports

Dawood has built a massive empire in Dubai and Karachi, as India has constantly made it difficult for him to carry out businesses or other illegal activities.

Born to a police constable in Ratnagiri, Dawood’s syndicate involves drug mafia in the UK and Western Europe. Pakistan denies that Ibrahim is in the country.

According to Central Bureau of Investigation, he uses 13 aliases to hide his identity. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he became the kingpin of Mumbai’s underworld, with empire covering prostitution, gambling and drugs.

ALSO READ | Indian Courts Kept Waiting For Dawood Ibrahim

Mumbai’s economic collapse in the 1980s gave way to newly formed mafias that were increasingly filling in for an absent economy. They started fighting within themselves. Ibrahim flew to Dubai in 1986 to avoid criminal prosecution.

After moving to Dubai, he united all the warring factions. One of such friend who later became an enemy was Chhota Rajan, who originally began his criminal career by selling cinema tickets in black market. On Dawood’s direction, Chhota Rajan had formed various powerful gangs across Mumbai.

Later, these came to be known as the D-Company with nexus across India and in Pakistan and Nepal.

Soon, Chhota Rajan started creating problem for his own boss. Around this time, Chota Shakeel became Dawood’s trusted aide. A war between the two groups broke out on the streets of Mumbai. There came a period when almost every week one gangster was being killed by a rival gangster. It took Indian law enforcement agencies several months when scores of people accused with underworld connection were arrested and many died in encounters, including those ones with police, before normalcy returned.

Dawood’s personal wealth is estimated to be anywhere between $5 billion and $10 billion. It is tough to calculate the value of his illegal businesses. Dawood is said to have real estate in Kathmandu, Karachi, Dubai and London.

D-Company has allegedly laundered more than $100 billion in cash till date, running a parallel economy in Pakistan.

The last account of Dawood’s life in Pakistan appeared in a Karachi-based magazine Newsline in 2001. The reporter Ghulam Hasnain was reportedly harassed by the ISI and the Pakistani Army over the article, which busted Islamabad’s links with Dawood.

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