‘Dawood Ibrahim network in Bangladesh since 1995′

June 3rd, 2009 - 11:42 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, June 3 (IANS) International mafia don Dawood Ibrahim established his terror network in Bangladesh back in 1995 and started expanding the nexus since 2000, a top police officer has said.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner A.K.M. Shahidul Haq told reporters here Tuesday that Ibrahim’s accomplice Abdur Rauf Daud Merchant, caught here while in hiding in a village near Brahmanbaria in eastern Bangladesh, came to the country with a “mission” to form a terror group loyal to the underworld don.

Bangladesh authorities have received several clues since the arrest of Merchant, a fugitive from Indian law convicted for the murder of Bollywood music baron Gulshan Kumar.

Analysts say what has come to light so far in investigations confirms New Delhi’s allegations about the reach of Ibrahim’s underworld network across South Asia.

Ibrahim and his second-in command Chhota Shakil operate from Pakistan and Dubai, Indian authorities say.

Quoting Detective Branch officials, the New Age newspaper Wednesday said that Merchant had first visited Bangladesh in 1995 to establish contacts with local underworld and influential persons.

Merchant and another Indian national Zahid Sheikh were arrested along with Kamal Miah, who provided the convicted murderer shelter.

Merchant had been in hiding for nearly two months during which he acquired a fake Bangladeshi passport and had visited Agartala in northeastern India.

He told sleuths his wife had visited him and he was due to fly out to Dubai this week.

“I first came to Bangladesh in 1995 and stayed in Khulna for some time with an aim to establish our network here and Muzahid (Zahid) came here in 2001 to make further contacts to expand the network,” Merchant was quoted as having told the interrogators.

“Muzahid and another Indian national Raju were arrested under section 54 by the Mohammadpur police in the city on March 4, 2004 and released on bail with the help of their local links,” an official of the Detective Branch told New Age.

“Zahid has been staying in the country for the last eight years organising the terror network of Dawood Ibrahim on the directives of Chhota Shakil, right-hand man of the mafia don,” said the official.

Chhota Shakil, a fugitive terrorist wanted by the Indian police, used to send him money from Dubai.

Earlier reports have said that Merchant acquired a nationality certificate signed by the Mayor of Brahmanbaria Municipal Council.

Reports also speak of a nexus with Bangladeshi businessmen who helped harbour Ibrahim’s operatives, helped out with funds and with authorities whenever there was trouble.

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