Dawood Ibrahim, designated a global terrorist, lives in D-13, Block-4, Clifton, Karachi under the alias of Sheikh Ismail Merchant. And CNN-News18 just caught him on tape.
The mystery surrounding fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s whereabouts is over. The 61-year-old who masterminded the 1993 Mumbai blasts is in Karachi, Pakistan. When CNN-News18’s Manoj Gupta called a number in Karachi, the man on the other end was none other than Dawood.
After the correspondent identified himself, Dawood got into damage control mode, realising that he picked a phone which he shouldn’t have. He identified himself as Javed Chotani — “No, this is Chotani speaking,” he said, before handing over the phone to the real Javed Chotani.
Javed Chotani is a bookie who masterminds Dawood's businesses in Dubai. In the 2013 IPL spot-fixing case, Chotani allegedly worked as a conduit between Dawood and the players.
The voice samples were run past several sources who have been tracking the fugitive Mumbai underworld don for several years. They have all confirmed that the voice indeed belongs to Dawood.
Thereafter, Chotani relayed the don’s responses. When asked whether it wasn't Dawood himself who picked up the phone in the first place, there was a rustle as Chotani turned to Dawood for directions. "Haan...bolo, bolo," came Dawood’s voice from the background.
Both Dawood and Chotani tried to evade answering questions on their location. They denied that the number dialled was one belonging to Karachi. In a bid to conceal their location, they went on to say it was the holy month of Ramzan and it was time for Namaz.
When asked about his health, Dawood said his “blood pressure shot up once... blood pressure shot up once”, in contrast to rumours he had recently suffered a heart attack and got gangrene.
Last August, India had submitted a report to the United Nations mentioning Dawood's hideouts in Pakistan. Pakistan denied giving Dawood a safe haven. The Pakistan Foreign Office had then said that information given by the Indian government is false. In a statement, it termed the information India's aim is to malign Pakistan.
Dawood is wanted in India for organising and financing the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that left 257 dead and 717 injured. The blasts were carried out with the help of his subordinates, Tiger Memon and Yakub Memon. In July 2015, Yakub Memon was hanged to death while Dawood and Tiger are still free.
On March 12, 1993 the country's commercial capital witnessed an unprecedented terrorist attack when a series 12 bomb explosions took place one after another in about a span of two hours.
The attacks had left 257 people dead, 713 seriously injured and destroyed properties worth Rs 27 crore. In 2007, the TADA court had convicted 100 accused and acquitted 23 persons in the case.
The blasts took place at Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Lucky petrol pump near Sena Bhavan, opposite Passport office near Century Bazaar, Fishermen's colony at Mahim Causeway, at basement of Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Theatre, Centaur Hotel (Juhu), Sahar Airport (Bay no.54) and Centaur Hotel (near airport).Dawood fled to Dubai in the 1980s after the Mumbai Police crackdown.