Mumbai: Gangsters Chhota Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Anis Ibrahim had placed an order for purchasing 40 AK-47 rifles with a Russian intelligence agent, but the deal didn’t go through after the agent was informed that the weapons would be used to carry out attacks in Mumbai and Kashmir, a close aide of Dawood’s nephew has revealed in his statement before a Mumbai court on Friday.
Delhi resident Danish Ahmed, 40, on Friday gave a statement before a designated court for trying cases under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA), 1999 in an extortion case against Anis. Danish too was an accused in the case but has since turned approver and deposed as a prosecution witness in the case.
Elaborating on his journey through the underworld, Danish said in Dubai he started work with his elder brother’s friend Kuldip Jaibalia, whose father was arrested for his involvement in drug trafficking for Dawood Ibrahim and Iqbal Mirchi.
“I became acquainted with Noora Ibrahim, the younger brother of Dawood Ibrahim, Sohel – son of Noora, their manager Altaf through Kuldip. Sohel introduced me to his uncle, Anis Ibrahim, the real brother of Dawood Ibrahim,” he said, adding that since at the time he did not have much to do, he started working part-time for Anis.
Danish then started collecting money from hotel owners in Dubai on Anis’ behalf.
Since his elder brother was pursuing medical education in Russia, in 2003 Danish later shifted to Russia on a student visa. He soon 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 by evading taxes.
In around 2008, Danish said, he had contacted Noora Ibrahim, Sohel and Altaf after he came to know that the local government was looking for foreign funding for one of their lucrative construction projects in Smolensk.
He claimed that Anis and Noora agreed to invest in the project. The deal, however, did not materialize.
The Delhi resident then found one Indian trader, who agreed to invest in the construction project, but backed off after some period. That angered Danish, who then lodged complaints about the jeweller with local immigration authorities and came in contact with a Rusian intelligence agent, who persuaded Danish to work for him.
“I used to retrieve information regarding Indian diamond businessmen and their account details and used to pass on the same to the Russian agent. In exchange for this information, he used to help me traffic diamonds illegally from Russia. The said agent asked me to work for him in the supply of binoculars, bulletproof jackets, weapons etc.,” Danish said in his statement.
He said he used to travel by chartered flights to Belgium, Dubai and other places, to meet with prospective customers, and show them pictures and videos of the products on offer. He claimed to have travelled to Uganda, Algeria, Venezuela and such other countries by Russian chartered planes for striking deals for supplying the products. He said he would record all the meetings and hand over the recordings to his handler.
In 2009, after the death of Noora Ibrahim, Sohel became close to Danish, who then discussed the Russian agents’ offer with him. Sohel conveyed that to his uncle Anis.
“Thereafter Altaf introduced me to Chhota Shakeel and Jabir Motiwala, said to be the chief executive officer of the Dawood gang. Motiwala started collecting information from him in respect of the supply of weapons and other articles through the Russian agent.
“After about 2 months Chhota Shakeel gave an order to me for the supply of around 40 pieces of AK-47 firearm,” Danish claimed. He said when he conveyed the order to the Russian agent, he sought more information about Anis, Shakeel and all the gang members and also the purpose behind purchasing the assault rifles.
“The Russian agent asked me to be in touch with them. I had a meeting with Anis Ibrahim, Sohel and Altaf. In that meeting I came to know that the weapons are going to be used in Mumbai and Kashmir,” he added.
The Russian agent refused to process the order after he was informed of the purport behind purchasing the arms. “The Russian agent refused to supply the weapons on the ground 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 because of the failure of the deal, but he was still friendly with Sohel.
The 40-year-old added that in 2012, he went to back Dubai with his Russian wife. This time, Altaf introduced him to Abu Salem’s brother Kalam, D gang’s manager Ajju aka Ajju Rolex and his brother Haroon, a builder in Delhi.
At this time, Shakeel tried to use Danish for extorting Indian businessmen who settled in Russia, but the plan did not fructify.
In 2014, Danish and Sohel met three agents of the US Drug Enforcement Agency, who posed as Columbians seeking to purchase Russian arms for a revolt. After he showed them the pictures that he had, they chose portable infrared missile launchers, Igla. As the deal got confirmed, in June 2014, Danish and Sohel travelled to Spain to collect the advance and provide them with three samples.
Both of them were arrested when they went to meet the “three Columbians” in Spain and were taken to Madrid, where they pleaded guilty and were extradited to the US after spending a year and a half in Madrid jail. Danish was released from the US prison in September 2018 and deported to India.