A key aide of the world’s most wanted gangster has been arrested at a top London hotel accused of drug smuggling and money laundering in the United States, it can be revealed.
Jabir Motiwala was detained by officers from Scotland Yard’s Extradition Unit on Friday as he left the Hilton hotel in Park Lane, London and he will be appearing before magistrates on October 19.
Pakistani national Motiwala, 51, also known as Jabir Siddiq, is believed to be closely linked to a man thought to be the second richest criminal in history.
According to Forbes magazine, Kaskar Dawood Ibrahim, known simply as “the Don”, has amassed a multi-billion dollar fortune second only to the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
The 61-year-old Indian national, who uses 21 aliases, is estimated to be worth $6.7bn, while rewards totalling $25m are on offer for his capture.
The shadowy son of a Mumbai policeman is accused of heading a global crime empire called D Company, spanning 16 countries across five continents.
The Indian government claim he has ties to al-Qaeda and blame him for a series of bombings in Mumbai in 1993 – and for planning the Mumbai massacre in 2009.
Last year he appeared on the UK Treasury department’s Consolidated List of Financial Sanctions Targets which listed three addresses for him in Pakistan, including one sprawling property called The White House in the plush suburb of Clifton in Karachi.
According to sources, Moti is involved in Dawood’s financial and real estate investments spanning across the Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, countries of the South East Asia and Pakistan.
Moti is understood to have visited the UK on a 10-year visa and and is a permanent resident of Hungary. He is also a citizen of Antigua and Dominican Republic.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman told Huffpost UK: “A man was arrested by the Met’s Extradition Unit at a hotel in the Paddington area on Friday, 17 August, in relation to an allegation of conspiracy to commit blackmail, import class A drugs and money laundering in the USA.
“A warrant had been issued by Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
“Jabir Motiwala, 51 – also known as Jabir Siddiq – appeared in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later that day and he will next appear in custody at the same court on Tuesday, 21 August.”
In 2015 Indian investigators visited the Midlands to identify and seize Dawood’s UK assets.
At the time an Indian government source, who did not want to be identified, said: “Most of Ibrahim’s money, up to half a billion dollars, is tied up in investments in the UK, and then Dubai and India.
“We have spent years trying to arrest him to no avail so now we are going after his money to put pressure on those who are protecting him.”
He added that the officers from India’s Economic Directorate unit were trying to seize his UK properties which include a hotel in Dartford, Kent, another in Essex and several more in central London.
Ibrahim allegedly controls 70% of India’s $1bn piracy market and has been accused of extorting millions of dollars from Bollywood film producers as well as funding and producing films himself.
But his main illicit business interests are alleged to include terror funding, sports match fixing, drug and people trafficking and counterfeiting, and is reportedly behind a plan to flood India with fake bank notes.
United Nations sanctions list Dawood as an associate and funder of Al Qaeda while the US Treasury Department declared him a global terrorist in 2013.
The UK sanctions list has these 21 aliases for Ibrahim: Abdul, Shaikh, Ismail; Abdul Aziz, Abdul Hamid; Abdul Rehman, Shaikh, Mohd, Ismail; Anis, Ibrahim, Shaikh, Mohd; Bhai, Bada; Bhai, Dawood; Bhai, Iqbal; Dilip, Aziz; Ebrahim, Dawood; Farooqi, Sheikh; Hasan, Kaskar, Dawood; Hassan, Dawood; Ibrahim, Anis; Ibrahim, Dowood, Hassan, Shaikh; Kaskar, Daud, Hasan, Shaikh, Ibrahim; Kaskar, Daud, Ibrahim, Memon; Kaskar, Dawood, Hasan, Ibrahim; Memon, Dawood, Ibrahim; Sabri, Dawood; Sahab, Haji; and Seth, Bada.
The sanctions prohibit the transfer of funds to anyone on the list and freezes any assets they may hold in the UK. It is a criminal offence to breach a financial sanction.