Intelligence Bureau keeps tabs on extortion probe

The IB has the copies of the detailed statements of Kaskar's recent revelations.

Mumbai: The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is keeping a close tab on Thane police’s investigation into the extortion cases involving the underworld after they named fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim as wanted in the latest case. They have also accessed the case documents. This comes close on the heels of the exhaustive eight-hour long interrogation of Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar by a team of two IB officers along with the Thane police, days after his arrest on September 18.

The IB has taken a copy of the FIR which names Dawood along with his brothers, Anees Ibrahim and Kaskar, a copy of which is also available with The Asian Age. The IB also has the copies of the detailed statements of Kaskar’s recent revelations before the Thane crime branch’s anti-extortion cell (AEC).

“We are in touch with the agency and are providing them with all the requisite details pertaining to the probe. They might even interrogate Kaskar once again, if need be,” said an officer with the Thane City police, requesting anonymity. The case papers have also been shared with the Enforcement Directorate (ED), who have also registered a separate case against Kaskar and his aides, Asrarali Sayyad and Mumtaz Shaikh.

The ED is probing if and how Kaskar laundered extorted money outside India as well as the alleged funding of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik by the Dawood gang. It is already investigating Naik in a separate PMLA case.

So far Kaskar has revealed the fact that he was in touch with his brother Anees and Dawood’s wife Mehzabeen, who would act as a mediator between the two brothers. During his joint questioning by the IB and Thane police, Kaskar mentioned Mehzabeen’s visit to Dubai last year. He also revealed that two of the accused in the third extortion case, Bhawar Kothari and Bharat Jain, allegedly went to Dubai on several occasions. During some of these trips, they met with Anees and allegedly spoke with Dawood via phone calls from Dubai, to evade Indian agencies.

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