Gujarat ATS arrests Mumbai serial blasts accused

Gujarat ATS arrests Mumbai serial blasts accused

(Representative Image/iStock image)

The Gujarat ATS claimed to have arrested a person involved in the 1993 Mumbai (then Bombay) serial bomb blast from Mumbai airport Sunday night. The suspect was wanted in a narcotics smuggling racket busted by the ATS last month. Officials said that the suspect, who has a Pakistani passport, had fled India after his name figured in the bomb blast.

ATS officials said that they have arrested Munaf Halari from Mumbai airport after he landed from Nairobi and was on his way to catch a connecting flight to Dubai. Assistant Commissioner of Police, ATS, K K Patel, who led the operation, said that Halari is accused of purchasing three scooters that were used in the blast of 1993. He was part of the fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's gang. He fled the country after the blast and through Pakistani agencies acquired citizenship in the name of Anwar Muhammad.

Officials said that Halari's name emerged during the interrogation of five Pakistani nationals caught on January 5 with a consignment of 35 kg heroin worth Rs175 crore in a joint operation of ATS and Indian Coast Guard off Jakhau coast in mid-sea. ATS said that the interrogation revealed that heroin consignment belonged to one Haji Hasan, a resident of Karachi. Hasan and Halari were in touch over the phone for smuggling the contraband and also explosives material through Gujarat coast.

ATS claimed that after fleeing the country in 1993, he had entered India as "Anwar" in 2014 from the Atari border. His family currently lives in Nairobi comprising his wife, two daughters and a son. Officially said that on paper Halari has claimed to be businessman involved in export-import of food grains in the name of a company identified as Magnum Africa.

Originally born in Amreli in Gujarat, Halari's family migrated to Aurangabad and eventually settled in Mumbai in the Manish market in south Mumbai. He is considered to be a close associate of Tiger Memon, one of the key conspirators of a serial blast that killed nearly 260 people. ATS said that Halari, against who red corner notice was issued, purchased three brand new scooters (MH-05-TC-29, MH-05-TC-16 and  MH-04-Z-TC-261) laded with explosive which were planted at Zaveri Bazar.