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'Dawood used to sit in front row of Bollywood performances' - here's what 'Sultan of drugs' told US agents
Muhammad Asif Hafeez confirmed knowing Dawood Ibrahim as both of them were involved in gold trading in Dubai
Lawyers of Muhammad Asif Hafeez have claimed that US’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents met the Lahore-born gold and silver trader in Dubai between 2014 to 2017 and asked him about the whereabouts of India's most wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim, 1993 Mumbai bombings, Tora Bora, the Taliban, and Karachi businessman Jabir Motiwala.
This may be noted that Hafeez is also known as ‘Sultan’ of the alleged drug selling network that extends from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan to the Middle East and African countries.
The News International reported that in papers filed before the UK High Court of Justice, Hafeez’s lawyers claimed that the American agents asked the Pakistani gold trader to provide information on underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Responding to their queries, Hafeez denied having any information regarding the Taliban and Afghanistan. However, he confirmed knowing Dawood Ibrahim as both of them were involved in gold trading in Dubai at some point and used to watch cricket while sitting in adjoining boxes. However, he claimed that he lost contact with Dawood after the late 90s when the don left Dubai for good.
Court papers reveal that Hafeez told US agents: "I further confirmed that whilst Dawood Ibrahim was in Dubai, he used to sit in the front row of Bollywood performances and was well-known in the industry. In fact, I recall that before any performance started, the performers would ask him 'Ijazzat hai?' which means 'do we have permission to begin?'"
The News International further reported that Hafeez, as per the legal papers, told the US agents that he did not know about the current location of Dawood Ibrahim.
The DEA agents also enquired about Jabir Motiwala, who is also referred to as Jabir Moti or Jabir Siddiq. To this, Hafeez reportedly said that he just knew that Jabir Siddiq was a stockbroker, who worked in the stock exchange in Karachi.
Jabir, the 53-year-old Pakistani national, was described in the High Court in London as a top lieutenant of Dawood Ibrahim's ‘D Company’ worldwide criminal network.
Believed to be the right-hand man of Dawood Ibrahim and the one who manages the underworld don’s investments in the UK, the UAE and around the world, Jabir was arrested by the British Police at London’s Hilton Hotel in August 2018. A year earlier, i.e. in August 2017, the UK authorities had arrested Asif Hafeez on the US’ request of extradition for charges linked to the import and preparation of Class A drugs.
In April 2021, news agency PTI had reported that Jabir is set to be freed from a London jail and fly out to Pakistan after the US decided to drop an extradition request for him to face money laundering, drug trafficking, and blackmail charges.