Exclusive: Chhota Shakeel is alive, letter sent to Interpol fake
Rumours of mobster Chhota Shakeel's death had gripped the media last December after an audio clip in which a man claiming to be a member of don Dawood Ibrahim's D-Company says the gangster is dead.
However, an India Today TV investigation has revealed that not only the audio clip, but even the letter sent by the Royal Thai Police to the Interpol stating that Shakeel is not subject to the Red Corner Notice any more after his death in Karachi on January 7, 2017, was fake.
In the audio, which emerged several months after the fake letter was issued, the caller, identifying himself as Bilal, tells a Mumbai-based relative of Shakeel that the mobster died of heart attack and D Company boss Dawood's younger brother Anees has gobbled up his earnings.
The India Today TV investigation found that the officer, Piya Uthayo, who had signed the letter sent to the Interpol is with the Thai Police, but posted in another department.
The letter says, "INTERPOL NCB Thailand - Foreign Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Police hereby certifies that, as of today, Mr. Shakeel Shaikh, also known as Chhota Shakeel, is not subject to an INTERPOL Red Notice due to his confirmed death on 7th January 2017, in Karachi, Pakistan."
The letter is signed by Uthayo, whose designation is mentioned as deputy commissioner of Royal Thai police, Royal Thai Police Headquarters.
A probe by the Thai Police revealed that the letter was sent from the fax number 006622802255, belonging to Sawasdee Angkor Lodge, Bangkok. Soon, the Sanam Luang Police Station arrested a 65-year-old German national named Frank, who is also a credit card cheat. Frank revealed that he was sent to Bangkok to send the letter by an Indian-origin man, according to the Thai Police.
According to sources, Dawood was behind the whole plan following his differences with Shakeel.
There have been reports of a rift between the boss and the CEO with Anees trying to grab the No 2 position in the company, which is reportedly worth Rs 670 crore. Shakeel has gone underground with all three of his cellphone numbers unreachable.
Shakeel was born Babu Miya Shaikh and is a key assistant of Dawood. Initially, he ran a dubious travel agency in Dongri, Mumbai. He was one of the early members in the D-Company along with Bishal Cheetah, Johnny Akhawat and Liger Bhai or Mushu Bhai.
He joined Dawood in Dubai in 1988. In those days, Sharad Shetty managed the match fixing, betting and hawala deals for Dawood while Chhota Rajan managed the gang's criminal activities in Mumbai. After the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and the DawoodChhota Rajan split, Shakeel took over the day-to-day operations of the D-Company.
He was a mentor to Abu Salem and entrusted him the responsibility of Bollywood film financing and acquiring overseas film rights. Later, they had a falling out and Abu Salem branched out on his own.
In September 2000, Shakeel admitted to having planned an attack on Chhota Rajan. In 2001, he accepted his involvement in financing Hindi films in an interview to India Today magazine.
He has openly pledged to assassinate Chhota Rajan, another leading figure in Ibrahim's network who lived in Indonesia until his arrest and extradition to India in November 2015.
Shakeel is alleged to have claimed responsibility for the killing of influential social activist businessmen SM Khalid, the Bombay Bakers Association President, in 1997 at Dongri.