Fugitive Indian gangster Dawood Ibrahim is involved in the trafficking of conflict diamonds from Africa to the Middle East, according to Indian officials. Ibrahim, 59, is India's most wanted man and has been charged with masterminding the 1993 bombings in Mumbai.
Indian intelligence authorities believe Ibrahim has links to countries such as Zimbabwe and Kenya, from where he allegedly acquires the diamonds and smuggles them into Dubai using African nationals as couriers, the Times of India newspaper reported on 30 August, citing a government dossier. "On each trip, diamonds worth around five to 10 lakh US dollars (£325,000-£650,000) are smuggled into Dubai and the African courier is paid 10,000 dollars as his courier fee," the paper quoted the dossier as saying. One lakh is equal to 100,000.
Ibrahim allegedly uses a Dubai-based company as a front for the illegal trade of conflict diamonds. He was named a "global terrorist" in 2003 by the US, who accused him of having links with the late al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
His whereabouts are unknown, but India has alleged that he remains in hiding in Pakistan – a claim Islamabad has always denied. On 27 August, a separate Indian dossier on Ibrahim's whereabouts came under fire from Pakistan after it cited the residential address of a prominent Pakistani diplomat as a possible hideout of the gangster.
In May, India's government told parliament it had no idea about the whereabouts of Ibrahim. "The subject has not been located so far. Extradition process with regard to Dawood Ibrahim would be initiated once the subject is located," Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Chaudhury said on 5 May.