The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Gujarat on Monday arrested Munaf Halari, a fugitive wanted for his alleged role in the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai and recent drug trafficking from Pakistan, from Mumbai International Airport.
According to ATS officials, Halari is a close associate of Tiger Memon, mastermind of the Mumbai blasts, and played a vital role in the blasts by procuring three brand new scooters, which were laden with explosives and strategically parked at busy junctions in the metro city. Police also said that Halari was hiding in Nairobi of Kenya with a Pakistani passport under the alias of Anwar Muhammad and was running a business of rice export-import.
“A red corner notice was already issued against Halari by the Interpol at the behest of the Central Bureau of Investigation. We received a tip-off that Halari had come to India from Nairobi and he was intending to fly to Dubai. A team then held him from Mumbai International Airport,” said K K Patel, assistant commissioner of police, Gujarat ATS.
According to ATS officials, Halari’s name had come up in their investigation regarding the seizure of 35 kilograms of heroin and arrest of five Pakistani nationals at high sea off Gujarat coast.
“After the serial bomb blasts in 1993, Halari fled to Bareilly and thereafter to Bangkok. His associate and chief conspirator, Tiger Memon, got him a Pakistani passport under the name of Anwar Muhammad with the help of Pakistani authorities and thus Halari took shelter in Kenya. In Nairobi, he was running a business in the name of Magnum Africa and later, on the instructions of Memon, he switched to import-export of rice,” said Patel.
“However, in the guise of export-import, Munaf Halari was trying to smuggle explosives and narcotics to India. When we recently interrogated the five arrested Pakistani nationals, we got to know that the consignment belonged to one Haji Hasan of Karachi. We also received call details between Hasan and Halari where the former promised latter that he will be able to bring explosives from Gujarat coast to India,” the officer added.
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