A court in the United Kingdom heard closing arguments on Wednesday in the extradition case of Pakistani fugitive Jabir Moti, believed to be a senior member of the D-Company, Dawood Ibrahim’s crime syndicate.
The United States has been trying to get its hands on Moti. What are the charges against him?
Who is Jabir Moti?
Jabir Motiwala, who is referred to as Jabir Moti or Jabir Siddiq, is a Pakistani national from Karachi. According to a PTI report, Moti holds a 10-year UK visa and is a permanent resident of Hungary. The report also said that he is a citizen of Antigua and the Dominican Republic.
Motiwala is allegedly a high-ranking member of the D-Company, and used to travel extensively and conduct meetings for Dawood, according to lawyers representing the US in the British court.
In 2009, an FBI investigation implicated Moti as a major money launderer for the D-Company.
In 2016, Indian intelligence agencies intercepted a call between Moti and Khalique Ahmed, another alleged associate of Dawood, which suggested that Khalique had duped Dawood of Rs 40 crore.
Moti’s lawyer during the extradition trial has said that his client is a Karachi-based businessman, and that his father established the Karachi Stock Exchange in 1951, the Pakistani daily 'Dawn' reported.
What is the case against Moti?
The US has charged Moti for drug trafficking, extortion, conspiracy to import unlawful substances, and money laundering offences amounting to around $ 1.4 million. Since 2018, when Moti was arrested in London by Scotland Yard, the US has been trying to extradite him.
The charges against him relate to a period between 2010 and 2014, and could land him behind bars in the US for around 25 years. Moti’s lawyers in London are contesting the extradition, saying that if prosecuted in the US, the former could also be slapped with an additional terrorism charge, given his link to Dawood.
The terror charge would put Moti at risk of being sentenced to life imprisonment without parole under US law, which his lawyers have argued would be in violation of his human rights.
The US Department of the Treasury designated Dawood as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2003, froze his assets in the US, and prohibited his transactions with US nationals.
Moti's lawyers have said that their client suffers from depression, and could commit suicide in a US prison. They have given the example of Jeffrey Epstein, the alleged paedophile who ended his life in an American prison earlier this year.
During the same trial, the UK court was given an affidavit from a US official which said that Dawood is a fugitive from justice in India, and is currently in Pakistan.
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