Mumbai: Gangsters Chhota Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Anis Ibrahim placed an order to buy 40 AK-47 rifles from a Russian intelligence agent, but the deal fell through after the agent was told the weapons would be used to carry out attacks in Mumbai and Kashmir, a close aide to Dawood’s nephew revealed in his statement to a Mumbai court on Thursday.
On Thursday, Danish resident Ahmed, 40, of Delhi, made a statement before a court appointed to try cases under the Maharashtra Organized Crime Control Act 1999 (MCOCA) in an extortion case against Anise. The Dane was also a defendant in the case, but has since turned approving and recorded his statement in court as a prosecution witness in the case.
Elaborating on his journey through the underworld, the Dane said in Dubai he started working with his older brother’s friend Kuldip Jaibalia, whose father was arrested for his involvement in drug trafficking for Dawood Ibrahim and Iqbal Mirchi.
“I got to know Noora Ibrahim, the younger brother of Dawood Ibrahim, Sohel – son of Noora, their Altaf manager through Kuldip. Sohel introduced me to his uncle, Anis Ibrahim, Dawood Ibrahim’s real brother,” he said, adding that since he didn’t have much to do at the time, he started working at part time for Anis.
Danish then began collecting money from hotel owners in Dubai on behalf of Anis.
As his older brother was pursuing medical studies in Russia, in 2003 the Dane then moved to Russia on a student visa. He quickly established himself as a diamond broker in Mosco and claimed to have worked with several established companies. He claimed that he used to export diamonds avoiding taxes.
Around 2008, the Dane said he contacted Noora Ibrahim, Sohel and Altaf after learning that the local government was seeking foreign funding for one of their lucrative construction projects in Smolensk.
He claimed that Anis and Noora had agreed to invest in the project. The deal, however, did not materialize.
The Delhi resident then found an Indian trader, who agreed to invest in the construction project, but backed down after some time. This angered Danish, who then filed complaints against the jeweler with the local immigration authorities and came into contact with a Russian intelligence agent, who persuaded Danish to work for him.
“I used to retrieve information about Indian businessmen and their account details and pass it to the Russian agent. In return for this information, he helped me illegally traffic diamonds since Russia. Said agent asked me to work for him in the supply of binoculars, body armor, weapons, etc.,” Danish said in his statement.
He said he used to travel by charter flights to Belgium, Dubai and other places, to meet potential customers and show them photos and videos of the products on offer. He claimed to have traveled to Uganda, Algeria, Venezuela and other countries on planes chartered by Russia to strike deals for the supply of the products. He said he would tape all meetings and give the recordings to his manager.
In 2009, after the death of Noora Ibrahim, Sohel approaches Danish, who then discusses with him the offer of Russian agents. Sohel passed this on to his uncle Anis.
“Afterwards, Altaf introduced me to Chhota Shakeel and Jabir Motiwala, who would be the general manager of the Dawood gang. Motiwala began to gather information from him regarding the supply of weapons and other items through of the Russian agent.
“After about 2 months, Chhota Shakeel gave me an order for the supply of about 40 pieces of AK-47 guns,” Danish said. He said that when he passed the order to the Russian agent, he asked for more information about Anis, Shakeel and all the gang members, as well as the purpose of buying the assault rifles .
“The Russian agent asked me to be in contact with them. I had a meeting with Anis Ibrahim, Sohel and Altaf. At this meeting, I learned that the weapons were going to be used in Mumbai and Kashmir,” he added.
The Russian agent refused to process the order after being informed of the rationale for the purchase of the weapons. “The Russian agent refused to supply the weapons on the grounds that India is friendly with Russia and we have a treaty with Russia that Russian weapons cannot be used for illegal purposes in India.”
He said Chhota Shakeel was angry with him over the failed deal, but was still friends with Sohel.
The 40-year-old added that in 2012 he went to Dubai with his Russian wife. This time Altaf introduced him to Abu Salem’s brother Kalam, gang manager D Ajju aka Ajju Rolex and his brother Haroon, a builder in Delhi.
Around this time, Shakeel tried to use Dane to extort Indian businessmen who had settled in Russia, but the plan was unsuccessful.
In 2014, Danish and Sohel met three agents from the US Drug Enforcement Agency, who posed as Colombians seeking to buy Russian weapons for a revolt. After he showed them the photos he had, they chose portable infrared missile launchers, Igla. When the deal was confirmed, in June 2014, Danish and Sohel traveled to Spain to pick up the advance and provide them with three samples.
Both were arrested on their way to meet the “three Colombians” in Spain and taken to Madrid, where they pleaded guilty and were extradited to the United States after spending a year and a half in prison in Madrid. The Dane was released from US prison in September 2018 and deported to India.