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Updated December 18th, 2023 at 16:37 IST

Decoding Dawood Ibrahim's criminal-terror syndicate and the scope of its activities

Dawood Ibrahim has been hiding in Karachi since the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts after escaping via Dubai.

Digital Desk
Dawood
Dawood Ibrahim. | Image:ANI
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Underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim is back in the headlines this time for allegedly being poisoned in Karachi. He has been hiding in Pakistan since the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts after escaping via Dubai. What is now a terror syndicate, it started off as a criminal group with Dawood at the helm. 

Let us take a look at how the D-company rose from criminal activities to terrorism.

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Scale of the D-company's activities

The D-company, as the initial suggests always had Dawood as the leader. Starting off with petty crimes like theft, the son of a constable from Mumbai's Dongri found a way to make money through various acitivities in the mid to late 1970s and the early 1980s.

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During the 70s, when the Indira Gandhi government imposed the emergency, there was crackdown on mainstream criminal organisations which cleared the road for Dawood among other things.

Remember, this was the time when India's gates were closed for foreign businesses which made foreign goods in the nation rare and thus expensive. This set the stage for smuggling of said goods and the D-gang used the chinks in security along the ports to smuggle in gold, narcotics, explosives, dual use goods, even arms and ammunitions.

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In 1991, when India adopted the LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation, Globalisation) policy, the scope of illicit trade for the Dawood gang narrowed which turned them toward terror activities.

While in Mumbai, Dawood also spilled blood on the streets with targeted killings of rivals and the 1993 bombings that killed over 250 people and injured over a thousand people.

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Dawood, however, fled India almost a decade before the bombing in 1986 after Police were hard on his tail for a murder case. He eventually settled in Dubai where his business expanded in arms and human trafficking, gold smuggling, extortion, bribery, contract killing, counterfeit currency, and drug trade. From the Middle East, his syndicate, now also a terror organisation spanned across Asia and Africa.

Tiger Memon, who reported directly to Dawood, was one of the top managers of the transnational crime syndicate along with other individuals like Haji Mastan, Chhota Rajan and Chhota Shakeel.

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Notably, Chhota Rajan parted ways with Dawood after the 1993 bombings which kickstarted a bloody rivalry between the two. Haji Mastan, on the other hand, was a non-violent Dawood aide who made his fortune through rampant liquor smuggling at Mumbai ports.

As of December 18, 2023, Dawood is settled in Pakistan which is benefitting from Dawood's illicit trade money and reciprocating with protection for the terrorist. 

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Dawood has also lent helping hands to terrorist organisations including Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harakat-ulJihad-i-Islami, the Indian Mujahideen by providing them with finance, safe houses and contacts. 

Several key individuals linked to the D-gang, including Chhota Rajan are behind bars but the influence of the terror network still persists. 

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Published December 18th, 2023 at 16:37 IST

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