The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pav bhaji seller to Dawood brain
- sleuths see anees return as key to blasts case

Mumbai/New Delhi, Dec. 9: Mumbai police would love to look into Anees Ibrahim Kaskar’s brain.

It would reveal the intricate financial circuitry of Dawood Ibrahim’s underworld empire for Anees is the don’s business brain. And it would also show how big a blow the D-company has suffered.

Like most successful “businessmen”, Dawood’s 42-year-old brother started small. He reportedly sold pav bhaji in Mumbai’s Nagpada chawl before switching to petty crimes like picking pockets.

Anees, now wanted in over 70 cases of murder, kidnapping and extortion, commands a price of Rs 10 lakh from the Mumbai police.

Anees, who fled India in 1986, has been managing the D-company’s operations in the country. CBI officers say Anees’ likely return for trial would mean prising open a storehouse of information on Dawood’s vast network and his links with Pakistan’s ISI.

Once that happens, Dawood — with investments in various countries, including Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates — would be nearly crippled, said a senior CBI officer.

Born on May 5, 1960, Anees had started young, following his brothers Dawood and Noora into a life of crime. The 5 foot-6 inches man shot to the grisly top when his name figured prominently as the main accused in the 1993 Bombay blasts.

The blasts had killed 257 people and injured 700 and destroyed property worth Rs 27 crore.

If Anees could be interrogated, the CBI officer said, the blasts conspiracy could be fully uncovered. According to the CBI, Anees was in Dubai when the ISI hatched the conspiracy between December 1992 and January 1993.

Anees, along with Mohammad Ahmed Dosa, was the “main peg” of the blasts. He ensured that the arms and bombs landed safely and were disposed of quickly.

The case is now in the final stages in a Mumbai local court; the judge has heard the arguments and reserved his order.

With Anees in the net, Mumbai police are naturally ecstatic. But they not free with the details.

Anees, also in charge of Dawood’s “Indian Operations”, had enviable access to Bollywood stars. Before Abu Salem and Chhota Rajan came along, he had a sweeping stake in the Bollywood extortion and financing business.

Rumours in police circles hint that Salem, Anees’s arch rival and former aide, may have blown the whistle.

Salem reportedly tipped off Dubai police about Anees through associate Salim Arabi. Salem’s move is evidently in retaliation to his recent arrest in Portugal, on Dawood’s alleged tip-off.

Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal said if things go according to plan and Anees is returned to India, “crime in the metropolis would be greatly reduced”.

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