New Delhi, Dec. 14: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today took the third blow in its face in two days following reports that Bombay blasts accused Anees Ibrahim had been deported to Pakistan.
Anees, brother of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, had been in Dubai police custody since December 3 but was given bail in an extortion case yesterday despite the CBI’s requests to hand him over. A Malaysian court also threw out the CBI’s plea to extradite Ottavio Quattrocchi, allegedly a Bofors kickback recipient.
CBI officials did not confirm the veracity of this morning’s report in Khaleej Times, which quoted security sources as saying Anees had been deported to Pakistan. The report said Anees was travelling on forged documents.
A senior CBI officer said: “Up to now, we have no word from Dubai authorities on the fact that Anees Ibrahim was granted bail in an extortion case or that he has been deported to Pakistan.”
Government sources said they were not sure how or when Anees left Dubai. But they suggested he might have been allowed to go to Pakistan “as this would be the easiest way of getting rid of a problem”.
If Anees has actually gone to Pakistan, sources say “this exposes a certain political dimension of the problem”. First, it indicates the immense clout D-company has in Dubai and the inroads Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence has made there.
Second, it exposes India’s lack of political influence in Dubai and an absence of high-level contacts between the two leaderships.
Indian agencies believe Anees could have been deported, if at all, only on the basis of his Pakistani passport. As Dubai immigration would have to keep a record of all deportation proceedings, things would become clearer in a few days, they said.
The agencies believe he left Dubai by land, moving to Muscat first and then flying to Karachi.
CBI sources conceded they had “unofficially” come to know that Anees was being freed on bail but continued to be in the dark about its conditions.
Despite the developments, the CBI has decided to formally request the United Arab Emirates for Anees’ extradition on advice from the Interpol in Abu Dhabi. “Most likely we will send the extradition request through diplomatic channels by Monday,” a CBI officer said.
In all probability, the extradition request will contain details of the Bombay blasts case only. CBI sources said Mumbai police would take time to prepare documents on the criminal cases Anees was facing, so the agency had decided to go with the blasts alone.
If Anees has actually left Dubai, the CBI move would be meaningless. The Emirates did not bother to keep India updated even while CBI official A.K. Gupta was in Dubai. When he returned on Friday, Gupta was not aware that Anees had walked away.