Mumbai, Jan. 24: Gutka king yesterday, wanted by Interpol today.
Rasiklal Dhariwal, better known among non-tobacco chewers as the doting father who gifted his daughter India's most expensive car on her 21st birthday, has been put on the list following Mumbai police's allegations linking him to mobster Dawood Ibrahim.
Dhariwal, who owns the Manikchand gutka brand, and his erstwhile business partner J.P. Joshi are believed to be in the United Arab Emirates ostensibly to spend the minimum number of days abroad to retain their non-resident Indian status.
Interpol will now process Delhi's request to issue a red-corner notice, which makes it obligatory for member nations, like the UAE, to arrest them and initiate extradition proceedings. They have been put on the wanted list based on warrants issued in Mumbai.
However, India will have to submit clinching evidence before Interpol supporting the charges of Dhariwal's involvement with organised crime.
A CBI officer in Delhi said it would be difficult to prove the charges which range from meeting Dawood in Karachi, persuading him to play arbiter in an asset-division dispute and helping the gangster's brother Anees set up a gutka business in Pakistan.
Mumbai police today charged Anees and three others in an extortion case that put investigators on Dhariwal's trail. The gutka baron has not been charged in this case but the chargesheet mentions his alleged links with Dawood.
Joshi, once a partner in Manikchand, launched another gutka brand, Goa 1000, and split with Dhariwal in 2000.
The dispute arose when Joshi demanded Rs 40 crore from Dhariwal, and the two approached Dawood through Anees, according to the police. Eventually, the police claimed, the three met Dawood in Karachi.
Dawood reportedly settled the matter ' with Joshi getting Rs 7 crore ' for a 'consultation fee' of Rs 4 crore.
With the police keeping a watch on airports, Dhariwal missed his grand-daughter's wedding in December. Known for his flamboyance and fleet of cars ' four Mercedes Benzes, a BMW, a Lexus and a Jaguar ' Dhariwal had hit the headlines last year when he gifted his daughter Jahnavi a Maybach worth Rs 5 crore.