One of the wealthiest and most-wanted gangsters in the world has links to properties across London and the south-east, documents reveal.
Dawood Ibrahim, 62, who inspired the Indian kingpin Dilly Mahmood in the BBC One McMafia series, built a corporation-like syndicate known to be involved in match-fixing, extortion and the global heroin trade, and responsible for one of India’s worst terror attacks.
Documents seen by The Times and compiled by the Indian authorities allege that on Ibrahim’s behalf his right-hand man, Muhammed Iqbal “Mirchi” Memon, accrued a vast property portfolio across the Midlands and southeast in the UK as well as India, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Cyprus and Australia.
Misha Glenny, who wrote the McMafia book and was an executive producer on the BBC series, said: “Britain features in his [Ibrahim’s] criminal world as a place where he can launder money — a classic McMafia tactic. He is thought to have property interests in a variety of southern English counties like Essex and Kent. But we can’t know for certain because the government has been dragging its heels in legislating to force transparency of the beneficial owners of companies registered in our overseas territories.”
The Times matched details from the Indian dossier to records held by Companies House and the Land Registry, as well as the Panama Papers to form a snapshot of the alleged property portfolio.
Ibrahim’s syndicate, known as D-Company, once smuggled drugs through Pakistan and across Indian borders for shipment to Europe and North America from the ports at Mumbai, as is portrayed in McMafia.
Ibrahim and Memon were named as prime suspects behind the 1993 Bombay bombings, a series of 12 explosions in Mumbai that claimed 257 victims.
Memon sought refuge in London after the bombings, hiding in plain sight for nearly 20 years and amassing a sprawling property portfolio. He was never convicted of any crimes and denied his involvement in Ibrahim’s cartel, frustrating Indian efforts to extradite him until he died after suffering a heart attack in 2013.
Ibrahim is in hiding in Pakistan and worth an estimated $6.7 billion.