The Indian authorities are trying to put in all possible efforts to get the UK’ approval for interviewing Jabir Siddiq, aka Motiwala considered one of Dawood Ibrahim’s closest aides. In the latest, India has been working with the US enforcement agencies to get its hands on Siddiq. He is currently in Wandsworth jail in south-west London.
Siddiq has been awaiting his extradition to the US. Siddiq was charged with drug smuggling, extortion, blackmail and money laundering by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in operations running back to 2011-12. His case is due for hearing on July 22, 2019.
Indian Authorities believe that if granted permission, it would act as a breakthrough in getting some insights into the entire nexus between Dawood Ibrahim’s underworld network (being operated from Karachi) and his connection with the Pakistani ISI agency. It will also help in getting proofs of the fugitive’s presence in Pakistan.
The Pakistani authorities have been trying to thwart India’s efforts in doing so. It had on July 2, during the extradition plea hearing at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court made all-out efforts to prevent the extradition of D-Company’s top member, Jabir Motiwala to the United States.
Despite the counsel representing the US prosecution team (through UK’s Crown Prosecution Service) asserting in the UK court that Siddiq was a close aide of the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Siddiq’s defence lawyer produced a letter from the Pakistan High Commission in the court.
The letter asserted that Siddiq was a “well-known and respectable businessman” (a stock-broker) with a Pakistani passport. His lawyers also opposed his extradition to the US saying that their client has been suffering from acute depression since 2008 and is unfit to be flown down to the US.
Pakistan’s reasons behind attempts to stop Jabir Siddiq’s interrogation is the likely disclosure of Ibrahim’s presence in Karachi. Moreover, if India succeeds in its endeavour, the details of Dawood’s activities and, most importantly, his strong links with the Pakistani spy agency ISI would also be exposed. These reasons have probably prompted the Pakistan High Commission in London’s to directly intervene in the case on the first day of the hearing itself.
Islamabad has repeatedly denied that it has knowledge of Ibrahim’s location.
however, proving Siddiq’s innocence might be difficult for the Pakistani authorities since even the drug deal for which Siddiq was arrested had been done on behalf of Dawood Ibrahim. Moreover, the FBI had strong evidence of at least $1.2 million being laundered.
According to reports, the US authorities had told the UK court last year that Siddiq was the mastermind behind the sale of 4kg Class A drugs in the US last year.
The Scotland Yard had on the directions of the US enforcement agencies, arrested Siddiq on August 17, 2018.
According to counter-terror operatives based in New Delhi and Washington, Siddiq was looking after the financial investments of the D-company in Pakistan, West Asia and countries across Asia, Africa and Europe. He reportedly shared a very close relationship with Dawood and his family.
In fact, he owns properties adjacent to Dawood’s palatial bungalow in D-block of Defence Housing Authority in Clifton, Karachi.
According to Indian security agencies, to evade arrest, Siddiq was trying to acquire the citizenship of countries like Antigua, Dominican Republic, St Kitts, Nevis, and even a permanent residency in Hungary for his family.
During the court proceedings, the prosecution argued that Siddiq was a senior member of the D-company with links to terrorism, engaging in arms and narcotics trafficking and money laundering.
His defence lawyer Edward Fitzgerald countered that if Saddiq was extradited he would be subjected to “special administrative measures” (SAMs) in a correctional centre in New York, which means a risk to his human rights under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act of the UK. (Courts in the UK are bound to refuse extradition if there is a risk of human rights being violated).
He has also claimed that Motiwala suffers from depression and has suicidal tendencies while arguing against his extradition.
Meanwhile, the court will give its ruling in August whether to seek a sovereign assurance from the US that Motiwala’s human rights will not be violated in jail there.