The re-arrest of Abdur Rauf Daud is an extremely significant move in a lot of ways. The right hand man of Dawood Ibrahim is a very crucial catch not only for Dhaka investigators but also for India.
The arrest of Rauf comes just five months after Indian Intelligence Bureau officials had picked up intercepts of Dawood Ibrahim himself conversing with ISI officials from Bangladesh. There was an attempt that was made by the ISI to move Dawood into Bangladesh with the Indian agencies stepping up the heat.
Setting up the D network
The Dawood connection to Dhaka is not new. The first signs of a network being built was seen in 1995. Pakistan had realized that Bangladesh had become a potential country to set up operations as it is easier to target India.
Thanks to the setting up of this module, Dawood was able to move into Dhaka several times. In fact he spent all his time in Bangladesh after the US crackdown post 9/11.
Even when he was declared a terrorist by the US, he was moved into Dhaka until the heat cooled off. He was found in Bangladesh once again after the Indian agencies picked up intercepts of him speaking with an ISI official who had ensured that he was safely housed in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh network of the D gang became an extremely crucial one. The biggest money spinner for the D gang from the Bangladesh network was fake currency and it was during this time that India witnessed major sums of fake currency being pumped in.
Moreover this had become a crucial network for him due to the proximity to India. The ISI which helped Dawood and continues to do so had chosen Bangladesh with two intentions- one to create a safe house for the D gang and also ensure that the fake currency market boomed.
Attempt to move Dawood
Ever since the BJP government made its intent clear on nabbing Dawood, the fugitive don has been moved in and out of Pakistan several times.
Around five months back, Dawood was in Dhaka and based on the intercepts that were picked up by the intelligence agencies there was a conversation he had with an ISI official suggesting that they were attempting to move him out.
The ISI has been desperate not only to hide Dawood but also move him out of Pakistan. There is increased heat on him and with the Indian agencies seeking the help of the US officials, matters have become even more difficult for the ISI for whom Dawood is the most priced financial asset. Almost 40 per cent of his earnings are to be shared with the ISI.
D in Bangladesh
Back in 1995, the ISI had introduced Dawood to a gangster in Dhaka who went by the name Quli Khan. Dawood after having a word with Khan sent his most trusted aide Chota Shakeel to finalise the deal and also lay out an operational chart.
After striking the deal, the D gang appointed Rauf and another operative by the name Zaheer to run the Bangladesh operations. It was in fact an officer with the ISI who oversaw these operations and even created fake documents in a bid to facilitate their travel.
Rauf, who was re-arrested on Wednesday, Dec 3, by the Bangladesh police was the one who picked up property in Bangladesh. In fact he was the one who purchased a mammoth guest-house in Dhaka which became an operational centre for the D gang. Whenever either Dawood or Shakeel visited Dhaka they were housed in this guest-house.
Arms for terrorists
The Dhaka investigators who are questioning Rauf after his re-arrest will be interested in several aspects. It is a known fact that the D gang apart from circulating fake currency from Dhaka had also indulged in massive arms transactions. It was found that they had supplied arms to the Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami, the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, ULFA and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
The entire arms wing of the D gang had gradually moved to Bangladesh from Pakistan once the crack down by the Americans had begun post 9/11. The biggest camps of the D network were found in Chittagong which incidentally housed the Burdhwan accused who were later launched into India.
The return of Rauf
The Indian agencies will be extremely keen on laying their hands on Rauf. He may have been trying to set up networks in Bangladesh, but the primary target of the ISI and Dawood has always been India.
India is also likely to make a formal request to Bangladesh to extradite him. India would be interested in knowing his dealings and also he would have ample information on where exactly his boss is hiding.
Rauf had been arrested by the Kolkata police in 2001 and had even confessed to the killing of music baron Gulshan Kumar. However he managed to escape while on parole and fled to Bangladesh.
In the year 2009 he was arrested by the Bangladesh police for trying to illegally enter into their country. He served a five year sentence for this and after his release had been re-arrested.
The Indian agencies say that it is extremely dangerous to let this man away. He knows the Bangladesh operations of the D gang like the back of his hand. He made several visits to Banglaesh prior to his arrest and even liked the D gang with the terrorist outfits which threaten the security of both India and Bangladesh.