Held in extortion racket, brother Iqbal confirms Dawood in Pak

Dawood Ibrahim, considered the mastermind behind the 1993 Mumbai blasts and India's most wanted fugitive, is indeed in Pakistan as India claims, his brother Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar told Thane police and the Intelligence Bureau during interrogation on Thursday.

Police officers investigating the case said Kaskar has given four or five addresses used by Dawood in Pakistan. This backs up the dossier India has handed to Pakistan, at least nine addresses of Dawood in Karachi and other cities.

Kaskar also told the investigators that Dawood is scared of calling his men and family members in India as his phone might be tapped.

Iqbal Kaskar and two others were arrested on Monday by Thane police after a complaint by a builder. The Thane police anti-extortion cell picked him up from his Mumbai residence.

According to police, Kaskar had been threatening builders on behalf of his brother Dawood to extort money and some of the builders had already paid him huge sums of money.

'Encounter specialist' Pradeep Sharma led the team of police that picked up Kaskar. Sharma was recently reinstated and posted with the Thane crime branch's anti-extortion cell.

Kaskar, 60, the only one of Dawood's brothers to be based in Mumbai now. Two of his aides were arrested along with him on Monday in connection with the extortion racket, allegedly runs in nexus with some local politicians.

He has claimed to have been in touch with Anees Ahmad, another brother who helps Dawood run his crime empire. Kaskar said Anees has called him from international numbers on his mobile phones on Eid and other occasions.

Kaskar, accused of having collected around Rs100 crore from developers and jewellers in the Thane region in the last three years and chanelling them to Dawood's crime empire popularly known as D-Company, denied that Dawood was involved. He denied being involved in any extortion racket and claimed he was doing business with the builders.

"Kaskar is not cooperating in the investigations and is hardly speaking. But yes, he has admitted he was in touch with his elder brother Anees Ahmad, involved in the 1993 serial bomb blast," said an officer, according to The Times of India.

The senior officer said they are taking all of Kaskar's claims with a pinch of salt but he is suspected to be in touch with his brothers. "All the statements given by Kaskar during the interrogation are presently being verified and are likely to be used by the agencies against the fugitive Dawood," said the officer.

Asked about Chhota Shakeel, a close aide of Dawood, Kaskar said he did not have good relations with him; in fact he claimed to hate him.

In Thane, a few more complainants are coming forward against the racket that Kaskar is accused of running in Dawood's name. The police expect at least a dozen victims to open up. Already, a builder and a jeweller have lodged complaints.

Sources told TOI a police team has been sent to Bihar, from where gunmen were hired to scare victims. It is learnt that a builder from Navi Mumbai was slapped by these Bihari shooters and threatened. "He was so scared, he left town," said an investigator.