22 June, 2021

OP Desert Storm

Dubai's bid to shed its racy reputation may yield another prized catch, the don Iqbal 'Mirchi'

OP Desert Storm
Within days of the dramatic handover of Aftab Ansari—an accused in the attack on the US consulate in Calcutta—to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), another and a more infamous member of Mumbai's underworld was a marked man here in Dubai. Iqbal 'Mirchi' Memon, a known Dawood Ibrahim henchman who played a crucial role as facilitator in the Mumbai bomb blasts, was slated for the kind of discreet handover that this emirate state has recently gained a reputation for. The Indian ambassador to the UAE, K.C. Singh, the ministry of external affairs in Delhi and the CBI were duly alerted about Dubai's willingness to follow through with further handovers.

But fortuitously for Mirchi, he's gained a reprieve through an untimely death in the family of Dubai crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum: his 22-year-old nephew Sheikh Rashid died in an accident last week, plunging the royalty into mourning and distracting the administration from the deportation task. Sources say this has put on hold Mirchi's deportation, though it will be difficult for him now to slip out...

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