Rumours of the Mafia king-Dawood Ibrahim-having Gangerene reinstates the belief in 'Karma'. However, on second thoughts, what if the D-chief really had his days numbered?
Indeed, we would miss his style and 'charisma', but the mafia would miss him too. Known as the "wallet" of the sub-continent's underworld, Dawood runs a huge illegal business that many thrive on.
With none to pass the buck on to, the empire would be in shambles if the Dawood is dead. Irreplacable, the don has never been to jail and has no evidence left behind to prove his guilt. So, apart from the Bollywood flicks, here's what will be missed if he was dead.
Land in Africa
The 'kanoon' (law) in India may have long arms, but Dawood's hands are bigger. According to the Indian intelligence, Dawood lives in Karachi with his aides-his brother Anees and lieutenants Chhota Shakeel, Tiger Memon, Aftab Batki, Edda Yakoob and Fahim Machmach. He has also been planning to shift base and has shortlisted 4 African nations- Somalia, Zimbabwe, Congo and Sudan.
The intelligence further said that he is trying to acquire vast stretches of land in Africa and is planning to sub let them for agricultural production. In fact, his operatives are said to be in touch with the tribal chieftains.
The Indian hold
In India, Dawood runs a Rs 10,000 crore plus operation that includes illegal mining, fake currency, betting syndicates, arms smuggling, real estate and commodities market investments and garments business in two-tier cities.
It was established recently that Dawood has been trying to build connections with the Maoists in the mineral-rich Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh belt so that he can control Rs 400 crore illegal mining racket in the country's coal belt.
Home secretary, G.K Pillai said, "Last year, he paid Rs 25 lakh to a Chhattisgarh operative but was conned. He is now trying to use the Maoists in Nepal to touch base with their counterparts in India and offer them arms and ammunition."
Besides coal, he also wants to enter the fake currency market worth $2.5 billion. His main aide here would be Aftab Batki who runs the business in India from Dubai. He has also sent fake currencies on ships meant for carrying food grains. However, plans were changed when the ports went on high alert. Now, he has opted for Nepal and Bangladesh routes to ferry fake currency and arms and ammunition across the border.
Dawood has built manufacturing units in the outskirts of Shanghai and Rs 2,000 crore worth garments were flown to India illegally through the border town of Nepalganj and Biratnagar. Indian Custom officials say the country loses an exchequer of Rs 500 crore in taxes every year.
The next real estate giant?
Dawood Ibrahim has also ventured out into the real estate businesses in India. For instance, some of the real estate giants in Mumbai have been in touch with the Company for funding. DB Realty, Vinod Goenka, Umesh Gandhi and many more were related to him. In fact, several housing projects surrounding the ATS office in Mumbai's Byculla neighborhood were funded by Dawood's men.
Dawood has also gained access to the Stock Exchange through the foreign institutional investor route. The Securities and Exchange Board of India has tried to track these investments, but to no use.
In 2009, the IB had tipped that terrorists had invested in the Indian stock markets and Dawood was instrumental in this because of his close proximity to some of the business magnates in th eoil-rich Gulf countries.
His goodwill investments are countless, which give him twice the return. As a goodwill toward Pakistan that has granted him asylum and full protection from India, he diverted some of his capital to the cash-strapped Pakistan railways. Top ISI officials were involved in the deal when a series of freight trains loaded with grain and cement ran out of fuel across the country.
An IB source emphasized his position overseas, saying, "His tobacco products, sold under the brand name Fire, are a rage in Russia, the Middle East and Afghanistan. He has investments in the Karachi stock market, construction companies, malls, cement companies and an oil company in the Gulf. His business turnover is over Rs 20,000 crore."
Pirated Bollywood movies and the cricket betting syndicate also form a major part of his income. And helping him is his aides Karachi-based aide, Shoaib Khan, and Dubai-based partner, Sunil Dubai.
However, Dawood's weakness is Narcotics that is being regulated by his London-based aide Iqbal Mirchi.
Dawood would be missed in th epolitical circuit of India and Pakistan. With an innate conncetion with the Al Qaeda, Dawood also boasts of a huge terror network that transports his goods across borders and spreads terror on his behest. In fact, Dawood has been financing the Lashkar-e-Toiba for its anti-India activities.
In the 90's, it was alleged that Dawood had good connections with at least 75 politicians, who owed their entry into Parliament to him. In fact, politicians such as Bhai Thakur and Suresh alias Pappu Kalani were arrested for links with Dawood around the same time. An MLA in the Maharashtra Assembly is presently under the scanner of the Intelligence Bureau for his alleged links with the don.
His operations in Nepal were also taken up in Nepal Stock Exchange. Nepali Home Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara had traised the issue with his Cabinet colleagues, but were countered by Prakash Dahal, the son of Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda, and Sarina Begum, a senior politician. Incidentally, Dahal was present with his mother at Dawood's daughter's marriage.
Dawood leaving for the 'heavenly' abode is a distant thought. But let the imaginations run free and think of the mafia economy if he was not there. Of course, the immaculate dressing and the popular Bollywood flicks will be history too.