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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 17:17 GMT 18:17 UK
Indian crime boss 'arrested in Lisbon'
Lisbon skyline
Abu Salem was arrested in the Portuguese capital
Indian officials say Portuguese police have arrested one of India's most wanted men, Abu Saleem Ansari, also known as Abu Salem.

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) says Abu Salem, wanted in several cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping, was detained along with his companion, Bombay actress Monica Bedi, on charges of travelling with fake documents.

Abu Salem is a prime suspect in a series of blasts in Bombay which killed more than 200 people in 1993.

An Indian diplomat in Lisbon told the BBC that Abu Salem had been arrested on Wednesday and had since been produced in court.

The Director of the CBI, PC Sharma, told reporters that Delhi was in touch with Lisbon on the case and the CBI was considering sending a team to Portugal to secure Abu Salem's extradition.

Legal issues

Mr Sharma discussed Abu Salem's arrest with India's Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on Friday.

Bollywood film set
Bollywood faces constant mafia threats

There are some reports that he met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee too.

Following these meetings, he said Delhi was trying to overcome the difficulties caused by the lack of an extradition treaty between India and Portugal.

He also said that Interpol, the international police force based in Paris, had arrested another Indian man, Syed Haider, wanted in India on a number of criminal charges.

Independent operator

Abu Salem is a suspect in a series of high-profile killings that have rocked Bombay's movie world, Bollywood.

These include the murder of top Bollywood music producer Gulshan Kumar in 1997.

Abu Salem fled India in the 1990s and settled in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where he was arrested last year.

However, he was released by the authorities there when Delhi failed to provide necessary evidence against him.

Abu Salem, once considered a close aide to Dawood Ibrahim, India's most-wanted man, is now believed to be operating independently.

See also:

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