In a big win for the officials, Gujarat ATS has arrested Munaf Halari from Mumbai airport in the wee hours of the morning. He is one of the main accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Halari was en route to Dubai via Mumbai on a Pakistani passport. On a tip-off received by Gujarat ATS, the accused was detained at Mumbai airport.
In the case of the 1993 serial blasts case, he was also being hunted by central authorities as well and there had also been a Red Corner notice which was issued against him. Halari is also a close aide of the main conspirator of Mumbai serial blasts of 1993 – Tiger Memon. Halari had acquired three scooters which were laden with explosives which were then parked at Zaveri Bazar and were exploded subsequently on March 12, 1993. The blasts had resulted in the death of 257 people, various injuries being sustained by 713 people and also the destruction of property worth Rs 27 crore.
After the blasts, the accused had fled to Bareilly and then to Bangkok and officials shared that his aide Tiger Memon helped him to flee by making his Pakistani passport and he was also in constant contact with the accused. After this, he was taking refuge in Kenya as a Pakistani national and an assumed identity. Since then, officials shared, he had also been involved in helping smuggling contraband to India as well.
Halari is also an accused in a heroin smuggling case in which 5 Pakistani nationals were arrested on Jan 2, 2020. On January 2, 2020, Gujarat ATS had also arrested five Pakistani nationals from the high seas with large amounts of contraband as well. The contraband had belonged to Haji Hasan in Karachi and on further investigation, Gujarat ATS found out that there were several phone calls between Hasan and Halari. The conversations were also about the smuggling of explosives and contraband heroin into India.