Thai court backs India in bid to extradite Chhota Shakeel’s aide

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MUMBAI, Aug 9 (PTI): A Thailand court has ruled in favour of India’s request for extraditing gangster Chhota Shakeel’s close aide Mudassar Hussain Sayyed alias Munna Zingada, whom Pakistan was trying to claim as its national, an official said here on Thursday.

The order was passed by a court in Bangkok on Wednesday and is in Thai language, he said, terming it as a “victory” for the Mumbai Crime Branch in an international court.

The court’s ruling is being seen as a setback for underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, as Zingada’s extradition could help India’s claim about Ibrahim’s presence in Pakistan.

Dawood Ibrahim is the key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that left nearly 257 people dead, 713 seriously injured and destroyed properties worth Rs 27 crore.

The Thailand court ruled in favour of India’s request for extradition as Zingada is an Indian national, the official of the Mumbai Crime Branch said.

The court has given one-month time to Zingada to challenge the order, and in the meantime authorities at the Indian embassy in Thailand will issue a warrant against him to start his extradition process, he said.

Zingada, 50, a native of the Jogeshwari area in Mumbai and a close aide of Chhota Shakeel, had gone to Bangkok in 2000 to eliminate gangster Chhota Rajan at the behest of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Rajan had survived the attack but his close aide Rohit Verna was killed.

After the attack, Zingada had fled to Pakistan and returned to Thailand in 2001 with a Pakistani passport.

He was then arrested in Thailand and convicted in the case of attack on Rajan.

Zingada served 16 years in a Thailand prison after the conviction, the official said, adding that India was constantly trying for his extradition since last few years.

Pakistan was also trying to take his custody through the diplomatic channel by submitting his Pakistani passport and school leaving certificate to the Thai authorities.

However, the Indian authorities provided a strong proof of Zingada’s nationality by submitting his finger print details, ration card, voter identity card and DNA samples of his kin, the official said.

In 2016, the Crime Branch team had travelled to Thailand to expedite the process.

The police team had submitted in a Thai court a dossier on Zingada, mentioning his crime record in Mumbai during his stay between 1994-97 along with his personal details, the official said.

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