According to a report in the Indian daily the Hindustan Times, New Delhi believes gaining access to Siddiq, will reveal more information on Ibrahim’s drug and extortion operations in India and perhaps proof of his presence in Pakistan.
Siddiq a.k.a. Motiwala is currently lodged in south-west London’s Wandsworth Jail, awaiting extradition to the US, on charges of drug smuggling, extortion, blackmail and money laundering, dating back to 2011. He is regarded as one of Dawood Ibrahim’s closest associates.
Ibrahim is the main suspect in the 12 March 1993 Mumbai terror attacks, comprising of 12 simultaneous bomb explosions in Mumbai, that claimed the lives of 257 people and injured another 713.
According to an Indian security agency dossier on Jabir, he is a trustee in the Karachi-based Islam Baba Trust. Dawood Ibrahim, his wife, son and two sons-in-law, are the other trustees. The Indian security establishment says this trust operates as a religious front and manages the properties of the D-Company, (a term coined by Indian media to describe the Mumbai underworld organised crime syndicate, controlled by Ibrahim, who tops India’s most-wanted list).
India is also working with American enforcement agencies to get access to Siddiq.
The Indian daily’s report says Pakistan’s High Commission in London directly intervened in the Siddiq case when it came up for trial before a UK court last year, describing him as a respectable and well-known Pakistani citizen and businessman. The High Commission, through a letter submitted to the court at the time, categorically stated that he was not a drug smuggler, as he was portrayed by both the US and India.
The newspaper, quoting people familiar with the case, said Islamabad’s intervention in the UK legal proceedings was possibly aimed at preventing the disclosure of Ibrahim’s likely presence in Karachi, details of his activities, and his suspected association with Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Foreign Office reiterated that Dawood Ibrahim was not in Pakistan.
Lawyers representing Siddiq in the extradition case, scheduled for hearing on 22 July, are opposed to their client’s extradition to the US, on the grounds of his mental instability and depressed state since 2008.
Siddiq was arrested by Britain’s Scotland Yard on 17 August 2018, at the behest of US enforcement agencies.
According to counter-terror operatives based in New Delhi and Washington, he has been entrusted with the financial affairs and investments of the D-company in Pakistan, West Asia and in countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.
Before his arrest, Siddiq, a father of three, was trying to acquire citizenship of various known tax havens including Antigua, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts, Nevis in the Caribbean, and also attempted to apply for permanent residency in Hungary for his family, according to Indian security agencies.
Courts in the UK are likely to deny extradition if they find there is a risk of human rights violations.