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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Profile: India's fugitive gangster
Dawood Ibrahim [Courtesy: Outlook magazine]
Ibrahim left Mumbai in 1986, investigators say
The fugitive gangster, Dawood Ibrahim, is India's most wanted man.

He, along with his brother Anis Ibrahim, are charged with masterminding the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings in which 257 people died and over 700 others were wounded.

The bombings were believed to be carried out in revenge for the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in riots in 1992 blamed on the right-wing Hindu Shiv Sena party.

Ibrahim is not being tried by the special court in Mumbai which is giving a staggered verdict and is listed in police records as an "absconding accused".

Indian authorities say Ibrahim, 51, is now based in Pakistan and that he has developed links to both al-Qaeda and the banned militant group, Lashkar-e-Toiba. Delhi has repeatedly asked Islamabad to hand him over.

Pakistan has always denied that Ibrahim is in the country.

The US, which placed Ibrahim on its list of global terrorists in 2003, describes him as a "son of a police constable (who) has reigned as one of the pre-eminent criminals in the Indian underworld for most of the past two decades".

It says that Ibrahim's "syndicate is involved in large-scale shipment of narcotics in the UK and western Europe".

The US also links Ibrahim's crime syndicate to al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and says the gangster visited Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

Kingpin

"Successful routes established over recent years by Ibrahim's syndicate have been subsequently utilised by bin Laden... In the late 1990s, Ibrahim travelled in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taleban," the US Treasury list says.

India's top detective agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, says Ibrahim uses 13 aliases to hide his identity.

The gangster, according to Indian investigators, was born in the western city of Ratnagiri, the son of a police constable.

Aftermath of the 1993 Mumbai blasts
Ibrahim allegedly masterminded the Mumbai blasts
The CBI says he is 5' 4'' tall and has a "mole on his left eyebrow" and that he is also "involved in extortion, forgery and cheating".

Details about Ibrahim's early life are fuzzy and almost impossible to verify - the police says the school-drop out carried out killings for the late Mumbai underworld don Karim Lala in his early years with the mob.

In the 1980's and early 1990's Ibrahim became the kingpin of Mumbai's underworld, straddling a multi-billion dollar vice empire covering prostitution, gambling and drugs.

Investigators say Ibrahim fled Mumbai to Dubai in 1986 to avoid criminal prosecution, but he continued to remain a key figure in the city's underworld.

He also prospered enough to gain a grip over the city's prolific film industry, Bollywood.

Ibrahim allegedly began financing a number of films and got some of the industry's leading actors to star in them.

"They wouldn't dare refuse an invitation (from Ibrahim)," a friend of the gangster was reported as saying.

His Bollywood connections came out in the open when he was seen on television sitting with a number of leading stars and watching international cricket matches in the Gulf city of Sharjah.

'Lavish life'

Grainy videos have surfaced of some Bollywood actors and playback singers entertaining guests at his parties in Dubai. There have been reports of a much-publicised live-in relationship with a starlet.

With many of the Gulf countries having extradition treaties with India and the police hot on his heels after the Mumbai bombings, investigators believe that Ibrahim fled to Pakistan.

Protests against Dawood Ibrahim in India
India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to hand over Ibrahim
The US Treasury list says that since 1992 Ibrahim has been giving money to Islamic militant groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba working against India and financing attacks in India.

In 2001, Pakistani journalist Ghulam Hasnain, researching an article on the gangster, wrote that Ibrahim's life read like a page from The Godfather, Mario Puzo's gangland classic.

"Ibrahim lives like a king," he wrote of his life in Pakistan shared by his wife, four daughters and son.

"Home is a palatial house spread over 6,000 square yards, boasting a pool, tennis courts, snooker room and a private hi-tech gym.

"He wears designer clothes, drives top of the line Mercedes' and luxurious four-wheel drives, sports half-a-million rupee Patek Phillipe wristwatch, and showers money on starlets and prostitutes."

Lavish wedding

Ibrahim is reported to have connections with some cricket players in Pakistan - former captain Javed Miandad being one of them.

Javed Miandad's son, Junaid, got married to Mahrukh Ibrahim, one of the gangster's daughters, at a lavish ceremony in Dubai last July.

But according to journalist Ghulam Hasnain, Ibrahim still missed the good life back home.

As one of his associates put it: "Mumbai was Mumbai. There we had everything, here one cannot have the life or the fun we did in India."


SEE ALSO
Extradition blow for bomb suspect
28 Jan 05 |  South Asia
Portugal jails Indian crime boss
28 Nov 03 |  South Asia
Analysis: Bollywood and the mafia
01 Oct 03 |  South Asia
Indian crime boss goes on trial
29 Oct 03 |  South Asia
Profile: Bollywood's nemesis
21 Sep 02 |  South Asia

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