A younger brother of India’s most wanted fugitive, Dawood Ibrahim, is set to return to India after absconding 17 years ago, Newzfirst has learnt.
Mustaqeem Ibrahim Kaskar, wanted for a string of cases including smuggling, arms training in Pakistan, narcotics and money laundering, will most certainly be arrested upon arrival at the airport here, his lawyer, Rajesh Srivastava, said.
“Mustaqeem Kaskar has always wanted to come back to his motherland to lead a normal life, and he has chosen to do it now,” Srivastava told this correspondent. “He is innocent and is willing to face the police and the courts to clear his name.”
Mustaqeem, who is currently in Dubai, is expected to show up in Mumbai any day after June 15. Srivastava said he would travel to Dubai and bring Mustaqeem with him.
The lawyer said Mustaqeem expects to be prosecuted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act, or MCOCA, besides other laws. MCOCA was legislated in Maharashtra in 1999 with a view to crushing the underworld in Mumbai.
The Indian government officially does not acknowledge it knows of Mustaqeem’s plans to return this month. But it is learnt that the Indian embassy in the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, has been instructed to issue him travel documents.
As such, the embassy would issue him what is know as an “out pass”, a document that is normally given to those citizens who lose their passports overseas. It would be valid for four days.
India had cancelled Mustaqeem’s Indian passport (number: E424045) shortly after he absconded from Mumbai in 1995. That passport would have been valid until 2001.
Mustaqeem is believed to currently own a Pakistani passport. According to a website on conflict resolution supervised by former Indian top policeman, K. P. S. Gill, Pakistan had issued Mustaqeem a passport in Karachi on July 22, 1997.
It is believed that Mustaqeem owns shopping malls and other businesses in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
Mustaqeem was not included in the list of the accused for India’s worst-ever terror bombings that killed 257 people in Mumbai in March 1993. But sources said he would likely also be interrogated in connection with that attack since his brother, Dawood, was allegedly its mastermind.
Police believe Mustaqeem’s interrogation could throw light on the conspiracy behind the 1993 Mumbai bombings that remain, by the number of deaths, the worst terror attack on India soil ever.
Police in India have long believed Mustaqeem to be part of Dawood’s underworld mafia empire which runs, besides terror networks, money-laundering, extortion rackets and mercenary killings.
Mustaqeem, 48, fled India on March 23,1995 as Mumbai Police began closing in on him over his alleged involvement in Dawood Ibrahim’s underworld activities.
In 2006, a court in Mumbai convicted 100 persons for their complicity in the bombings. Dawood Ibrahim was never tried as he had absconded in the 1980s and was accused of masterminding the bombings from his overseas locations.
The names of both Dawood and Mustaqeem have been on Indian government’s list of most wanted fugitives that is updated yearly and sent to Interpol.
India has long sought Mustaqeem’s extradition from the UAE with little success.
Lawyer Srivastava said he was confident that the prosecution would fail to pin the guilt on Mustaqeem for any of his alleged felonies.
Srivastava had tried to bring back to India another of Dawood’s seven brothers, Noora, but he died before making the trip. Srivastav had also defended their sister, Haseena Parkar, who was charged with extortion, among other crimes. Parker lives in Mumbai.
The Kaskars are children of a former police inspector with Mumbai Police Crime Branch. Dawood is the second of eight sons. The siblings fled to Dubai after the 1993 blasts.
It is learnt that following sustained pressure from the Indian government, the UAE has government leaned on Mustaqeem to return to India and face charges.
Meanwhile, police are investigating a Mumbai businessman named Raees Khan, who traveled last month to Dubai reportedly to meet with Mustaqeem.
Sources said police have questioned Khan at least thrice since he returned from Dubai.
A police officer said it is possible that Mustaqeem is returning to India hoping to be eventually acquitted of all charges and re-enter the family business here.
In 2003, another brother of Dawood Ibrahim, Iqbal Kaskar, was arrested after returning from Dubai. He was charged for murder and illegal land grab.
A court eventually acquitted him of all charges. Iqbal Kaskar lives in Mumbai and reportedly runs businesses. Srivastava had been his counsel, as well.