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Dawood shifting business to Saudi

Dawood shifting business to Saudi

Author: Mohua Chatterjee
Publication: The Times of India
Date: October 5, 2003
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/xml/uncomp/articleshow?artid=216478

Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is moving out his business operations from Dubai to Saudi Arabia, say intelligence sources. According to reports submitted to the home ministry recently, Dawood visited Saudi Arabia at least six times in the past year - as frequently as he used to visit Dubai earlier.

Most of the visits have taken place in the last six months. The main reason for the shift, say sources, is the growing ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government and India. This is making it increasingly difficult for the D-company to carry on its operations there.

Running his flourishing hawala network and even fund mobilisation - operating bank accounts, paying aides for assignments, etc - has become difficult in Dubai in the past year, say sources. India has been making a conscious effort to improve ties with the UAE: Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani visited the country recently and an extradition treaty was signed between the two countries earlier this year.

The UAE has been regularly deporting criminals, including Dawood's men, wanted by the Indian government over the past few months. Pressure from the US and an FBI presence in the UAE has also made it difficult for Dawood' s men to run their establishments and operate in Dubai.

To make matters worse, Dawood is said to have run into a business conflict with the existing power lobby in Dubai, as a result of which an anti-Dawood gang has come up there. Saudi Arabia is also a safer bet for Dawood, based in Pakistan, because the government is ''friendlier'' to Pakistan than it is to India.

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