Dawood Ibrahim might have cloistered himself at his safe-house in Karachi’s upscale Clifton district, but he has now been caught on tape – for the first time ever – divulging his commercial operations overseas, an India Today investigation has found.
The crime lord is believed to have set up a vast business empire since he fled India in the 1980s.
India Today has now accessed clinching evidence suggesting how the internationally-wanted terrorist and narcotics trafficker continued to expand his D-Company enterprise across continents all these years.
The don, whose net asset value is estimated at around $6.7 billion, is heard on tape disclosing his benami real-estate ventures in Dubai, his nerve centre in the Gulf.
Intercepts of Dawood’s calls to his business agent in the UAE, Yasir, point to a string of investments in someone else’s names.
Highly-placed security officials confirmed to India Today the veracity of the audio tapes that show how he micro-manages his international business fronts while sitting inside his ISI-protected “White House” in Karachi.
“Perfect. Inshallah, I’ll inquire about it tomorrow. Any demands for the buildings?” Dawood is heard on the call intercepts from barely four years ago.
He’s referring to a swanky real-estate project, Al Khail Heights, one of Dubai’s dazzling neighbourhoods minutes from the city centre.
“Every other day, there’s someone coming in to inquire. So far, seven buildings have been sold, three of them recently,” replied Yasir, Dawood’s business associate in the UAE. “Six other buildings are getting (buyer) inquiries. Everyday someone or the other comes to meet regarding the buildings.”
Both are heard discussing potential returns from the underworld gangster’s possible investments in the Al Khail project.
“I told Irfan that I actually got a call today from the Dubai land department,” Yasir briefed the boss in Karachi.
“Okay. So, how’s the market? What’s the position?” Dawood inquired.
“It’s all fine as of now. The market is strong. Owners are holding on to their assets,” Yasir responded.
In the 2014 tapes, Dawood and his UAE agent spoke at length about setting up an escrow account, a banking facility for buyers and sellers to place their funds while they complete their real-estate deals.
“First of all, it’s the issue of transfers to an escrow account. I’ll inquire about the transfer issue whether it’s doable or not. I’ll discuss all of it,” the don said, as he took updates about the high-end Al Khail project, developed locally by a company called Texture.
“We also had a stand at the city space where we had put up large posters of Al Khail Heights. So, they called up today to inquire whether we have put Al Khail Heights up on sale. They said they had no information from Mirage (realtors). So, we’ll show them the documents tomorrow,” Yasir informed Dawood.
“So you have taken Mirage documents with you?” probed the don.
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