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Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Arrests in Indian mafia boss case
Bombay bomb damage
Abu Salem is wanted for 1993 bombings in Bombay
The police in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have arrested three government officials for issuing fake passports to the crime boss Abu Salem and his two women companions.

The officials including a police officer, are being questioned for giving clearance to Abu Salem who is alleged to have applied for passports using fake name and false addresses.


I hope...Salem would be brought back and tried for the crimes he has committed

LK Advani,
Indian deputy PM

Abu Salem and his companion, Bombay actress Monica Bedi, were arrested on Wednesday.

He is now being held in Lisbon on charges of carrying false travel documents.

Meanwhile India's ambassador in Lisbon, Madhu Bhaduri, has denied reports that Portugal has refused to hand over Salem. She told the BBC that no such development has taken place.

According to her, Salem has been sent to judicial custody for three months and the Indian government will continue to press for his deportation.

Extradition request

In Delhi, the Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani said a letter had been sent to the Portuguese authorities and Interpol requesting the 41-year-old's deportation.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says it will send a team to Lisbon as soon as possible to try to secure Abu Salem's deportation.

The CBI's joint director, Ashwini Kumar, said photographs and fingerprints of Abu Salem, sent to Lisbon after an Interpol tip-off, had helped in the arrest.

"It [extradition] is possible through diplomatic channels and the legal process even without an extradition treaty," he told a news conference in Delhi.

Independent operator

Abu Salem, also known as Abu Saleem Ansari, is accused of helping orchestrate a wave of bombings in Bombay in 1993 in which more than 250 people died.

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

Bollywood film set
Bollywood faces constant mafia threats

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

He is also wanted in numerous cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping.

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

He was released on bail when Delhi failed to produce sufficient evidence to persuade police to hand him over.

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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