Two weeks after media reports emerged saying gangster Dawood Ibrahim's properties have been seized in the United Arab Emirates, the UAE ambassador has clarified that he has no information about these raids. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE ambassador to India, dismissed the media reports that claimed property worth Rs 15,000 crore had been seized.
According to a report in The Hindu, Al Banna said he heard about the reports, but couldn't confirm them. "I heard about the reports, but with all respect to the media (that reported the story), I have no information about such raids taking place," he said.
When initial reports had surfaced in the media about Dawood's properties being seized, even the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) official social media handles had gone on overdrive, claiming it to be a "masterstroke of diplomacy". A series of tweets had credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's diplomacy with the success. It said the prime minister had handed over a list of Dawood's properties during a visit to the UAE in 2015, and demanded the authorities act against Dawood.
Major diplomatic success of PM Modi: One of India's most wanted criminals, Dawood Ibrahim's properties worth Rs. 15,000 crore seized in UAE. pic.twitter.com/MMERwLoPO1
— BJP (@BJP4India) January 4, 2017
But while the ambassador denied specifically targeting Dawood's properties, he did admit UAE is striving hard to eliminate the scourge of terrorism. To this end, the first India-UAE Strategic Dialogue will be held on Friday in New Delhi. Following this, Modi will also be meeting Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi. "Our relationship with India is special, and is not impacted by our relationship with any other country," Al Banna told The Hindu.
Dawood, who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, has been accused of financing Al-Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist outfits. He is also facing multiple charges of money laundering and extortion.
Updated Date: Jan 17, 2017 16:27 PM