New Delhi, Aug 16: India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim's close aide Muhammed Iqbal Memon aka Iqbal Mirchi died of cardiac arrest in UK on early Thursday morning.
63-year-old Mirchi, the right-hand man of Dawood, was an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and he was also facing drug smuggling charges in India.
According to reports, Mirchi was on a walk near his house when he suffered a heart attack, his elder brother Kadir Memon, who lives in Mahim, said.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of Mumbai police said, "Mirchi's death is a big blow to the drugs syndicate, particularly the D gang. It's unfortunate he died before being deported."
Ranked among the world's top 50 drug barons, the Interpol Red Corner Notice had been issued on Mirchi on the CBI's request.
In April 1995, officers from Scotland Yard had raided Mirchi's home and arrested him on drugs and terrorism charges in connection with the blasts in Mumbai.
However, an extradition request by India was turned down by magistrates here.
Scotland Yard's investigation of Mirchi, which ended in 1999, found no evidence of criminal activity and in 2001 the UK Home Office granted him indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
In 2012, Mirchi was arrested in London and charged with threatening to kill his 41-year-old nephew.
Mirchi, who fled India in 1990s, was also under investigation over the Indian Premier League (IPL) match-fixing and betting scandal.
Mirchi, who hailed from Gujarat, was living in a large six-bedroom home in an exclusive part of Hornchurch, a town in Essex, north-east of London.
He is survived by two wives, Heena Kausar, who is a former Bollywood actress and Hazra, two daughters and a son.
Some reports also said the Mirchi had repeatedly expressed a wish to return to his "homeland" if the CBI dropped its extradition claims.
He was famous as "Mirchi" as his family reportedly ran a business of red chilli powder in India.
(With Agency inputs)