Mumbai Police on Thursday arrested Mohammad Ibrahim Kaskar (30), the nephew of underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim, along with two others for allegedly making threat calls to a city-based businessman.
Police suspect the threat calls are linked to a business rivalry between two city-based businessmen, one of whom was arrested by the Anti Extortion Cell (AEC). The arrest has also brought to light how threats and instructions from top gangsters based out of the country are being issued using audio notes on social media apps that can then be deleted leaving no evidence behind.
DCP Datta Nalawade said there was a dispute between two city-based businessmen, both of whom import from and export goods to China. One of them, Ashfaq Towelwala (34), owed the other businessman, the complainant in the case, Rs 15 lakh. The latter had been making frequent calls to Towelwala to return the money. “In June, the complainant received a threat call from Dawood aide Fahim Machmach, who told him that he should stop demanding money from Towelwala. The complainant then approached the police,” Nalawade said.
During the probe into how Towelwala approached Machmach, the name of Ahmed Raza Vadharia (24) came up. Vadharia, who operates mainly from Gujarat, was in Dubai. The police issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) and arrested him on Tuesday at the Mumbai international airport.
AEC senior inspector Ajay Sawant said, “During the custodial interrogation of Vadharia, he told us that he was introduced to Machmach and Chhota Shakeel by Mohammad, the nephew of Dawood… “The police then issued a LOC for Mohammad and he was arrested on Wednesday night (at an airport in Mumbai) as he was leaving the country.”
Mohammad has no past criminal record, an officer said.
An officer said they found several voice notes on the four mobile phones used by Vadharia. Some notes were of people who wanted a “matter to be settled” by gangsters like Shakeel and Machmach based in Dubai. The gangsters would hear the audio notes and in turn send an audio note back, police said.
The audio note is then used to threaten a rival, after which the note is deleted. “The reason for this new modus operandi is to ensure there is no evidence left behind. While in this particular case Machmach also made a threat call, normally a person would just make the victim listen to the threat recorded as an audio note on his own phone and then delete it to ensure no evidence is left behind,” an officer said. In the past getting a voice match from a recorded threat call has been used as evidence by the police to nail the involvement of gangsters.