Testimonies of three relatives of global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar were the CBI’s trump card to secure the conviction of a gutkha baron and two D-Company gang members in an organised crime case, agency officials said on Wednesday.
Special Judge B D Shelke in Mumbai convicted the owner of Goa Gutka, J M Joshi, and D-Company gang members Jamiruddin Gulam Rasul Ansari and Farukh Mansuri under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and relevant sections of Indian Penal Code on Monday.
They were sentenced to 10 years in prison for helping the UN-designated global terrorist set up plants to manufacture gutkha, a chewable concoction of tobacco and various nuts, in Pakistan, where the D-Company is holed up.
Gutkha barons Joshi and Rasiklal Manikchand Dhariwal (now-deceased co-accused) had a monetary dispute following which they sought the help of Dawood Ibrahim to resolve it.
The gangster, the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, in turn, sought their assistance to set up gutkha manufacturing units in Pakistan to open a new source of revenue for his organised criminal gang.
The CBI filed the charge sheet in 2005 after a thorough investigation. The investigation officer examined three relatives of Dawood Ibrahim, who exposed the links between the convicts and the Dawood Ibrahim gang, D-Company operations, and monetary exchanges, among others.
During the trial, the CBI presented 44 witnesses, including Dawood’s wife Mehjabeen’s uncle Salim Ibrahim Sheikh and Saud Yusuf Tungetkar and Shamim Iltefat Qureishi — brothers-in-law of Anees Ibrahim alias Chota Sheth and Dawood Ibrahim.
Their statements were vital in securing the conviction of the charge-sheeted accused, officials said.
Sheikh, in his statement to the investigation officer of the CBI, narrated how Jamiruddin Gulam Rasul Ansari alias Jumbo had forced him to carry parts of machinery to Karachi on the instructions of Anees Ibrahim, and stood his ground during the recording of his statement before the magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC and later during the trial.
He had travelled to Karachi in 2004 to visit an ailing relative of his wife when Ansari accosted him and made him carry two pouches. During the visit, he stayed at the residence of Dawood Ibrahim in the Clifton area, the officials said.
“On perusal of cross-examination of PW-12 (Sheikh), it reveals that his evidence in respect of carrying spare parts handed over by accused no.1 (Ansari) is remained unshaken in his cross-examination,” special judge Shelke noted.
The judge said Sheikh was a relative of Dawood Ibrahim and Anees Ibrahim, and there was no reason for him to depose against them.
“The evidence that came from the mouth of PW-12 supports the prosecution case in respect of the involvement of accused no.1 (Ansari) as an active member of an organised crime syndicate headed by accused nos. 7 (Dawood Ibrahim) and 3 (Anees Ibrahim alias Chota Sheth)…,” the judge noted.
He said Sheikh’s statement also supports the prosecution case regarding continuous illegal activities done by Ansari for and on behalf of an organised crime syndicate headed by Dawood Ibrahim.
In his testimony, the brother-in-law of Dawood Ibrahim, Saud Yusuf Tungekar, said Ansari arranged his trip to Dubai, where he was staying between 2000 and 2005.
Another brother-in-law, Shamim Iltefat Qureishi, testified as an eyewitness in the case wherein he gave intricate details of how D-Company was setting up gutkha plants in Pakistan to open a new source of earnings.
A childhood friend of Anees Ibrahim, Qureishi told the investigators that gutkha barons Joshi and Dhariwal had a dispute.
Qureshi gave details of the dispute settlement between the two gutkha barons, help extended by Joshi in setting up plants in Pakistan, details of meetings, and exchange of money, among others.
“The evidence that came on record also shows that accused no.5 (Joshi) also took the help of PW-15, PW-24 and PW-28 for the settlement of the said dispute with the mediation of accused no.3(Anees Ibrahim). Ultimately, the dispute between accused nos.5 and 6 was settled on September 9, 1999 at Karachi, Pakistan,” the judge noted.
The judge said that in return, Joshi provided financial aid, technical and material assistance and supported the organised crime syndicate of Anees Ibrahim and Dawood Ibrahim by establishing Gutkha factory in Pakistan.
“Moreover, accused no.5 (Joshi) made extra-judicial confessions before PW-24 and PW-28 in respect of the settlement of his business dispute with accused no.6 with the mediation of accused no.7 and also made extra-judicial confession that he received an amount of ? 11 crore by way of settlement. These evidence can be accepted and relied upon,” he said.