In a blow to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, his close aide Motiwala’s extradition to the US was earlier cleared by the Westminster Magistrate Court on February 6. It has sent its sealed order to the UK Home Department for final clearance.
However, the D-company aide has the right to appeal in the high court, though it’s rare that such extradition order gets rejected.
A fortnight ago, the UK Home Department had cleared the extradition of international cricket bookie Sanjeev Chawla, allegedly linked with the betting syndicate patronised by the D-Company, to India.
While Sanjeev Chawla is presently lodged in a Delhi prison, Motiwala’s extradition and subsequent trial in the US court can put Pakistan’s ISI into trouble. Video recording of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) suggests that Motiwala was involved in an international drug racket which was spread from London to Atlanta. In the recording, Motiwala had taken the name of Dawood Ibrahim.
Motiwala, a resident of Karachi who looked after D-Company’s drugs syndicate, has been wanted by the US on charges of drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering. ISI, as per Indian reports, had been harbouring D-Company’s drugs operation in South Asia.
In New Delhi, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said that Motiwala’s extradition to the US can spell doom for the D-Company’s top three members, including Dawood Ibrahim. The other two being Dawood’s younger brother Anees Ibrahim and key aide Chhota Shakeel, who were looking after the money laundering and extortion rackets of the D-Company.
Sources said that the interrogation of Motiwala, who was handling D-company’s drugs racket in Europe and America, could result in the extradition of Dawood Ibrahim, the mastermind of the entire drugs racket, to the US.
John Zani, the judge at the Westminster Magistrates Court, has ordered that Motiwala’s extradition complies with the human rights legislation. Earlier, Motiwala’s lawyers had pleaded that their client had suicidal tendencies and he should not be put on trial in the US on humanitarian ground. However, Zani said, “I find that there are no bars to this extradition as would intervene to prevent extradition.”
The UK Home Department has to now clear certain formalities before finally facilitating Motiwala’s extradition to the US.
Earlier, the Pakistan High Commission in London allegedly provided documents to Motiwala citing that he has no criminal background and that the Pakistan national was recognised as a prominent businessman in Karachi.
Pakistani diplomats in London, as per sources in the Indian agencies, tried their best to thwart the extradition process. The diplomats feared that Mortiwala’s confession and trial in the US could unravel the ISI-D-Company nexus. Indian Intelligence agencies have been accusing the ISI of providing shelter and security to Dawood Ibrahim in Karachi.
To the embarrassment of Motiwala’s defence and Pakistani diplomats backing him, the judge in his order on February 6 noted: “According to information set out in the (extradition) request, Jabir Motiwala is said to be an important member of an international criminal organisation called ‘D-Company’, based in Pakistan, India and UAE. That organisation is said to have conducted criminal activities in the US which include drug trafficking, money laundering and blackmail,” referring to the illegal activities of Dawood Ibrahim, who is the most wanted person in India for several offences.