Dawood Ibrahim's close aide Iqbal Mirchi dies in London
Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's close aide, Iqbal Mohammed Memon aka Iqbal Mirchi, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, died of a heart attack last night in London
Mirchi, 63, the right-hand man of India's topmost terrorist, was also facing drug smuggling charges in India. He had been living in a large six-bedroom home in an exclusive part of Hornchurch, a town in Essex, north-east of London.
Iqbal Mirchi. File pic
Ranked among the world's top 50 drug barons, Muhammed Iqbal Memon or Iqbal Mirchi had been issued an Interpol Red Corner Notice in 1994 on Central Bureau of Investigation's request.
In April 1995, officers from Scotland Yard had raided Mirchi's home and arrested him on drugs and terrorism charges in connection with the blasts in Mumbai. However, an extradition request by India was turned down by magistrates here.
Scotland Yard's investigation of Mirchi, which ended in 1999, found no evidence of criminal activity and in 2001 the UK Home Office granted him indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Mirchi was arrested again by the Metropolitan Police and charged with threatening to kill a 41-year-old man, identified as Nadeem A Kader also from Essex, in October 2011.
The CBI had attempted to revive its extradition request at the time but the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had dropped all charges against him because "the evidence received was not enough to provide a realistic prospect of conviction".
The name Mirchi relates to his family's red chilli powder business back in India, a country he fled in the 1990s. He had repeatedly expressed a wish to return to his "homeland" if the CBI dropped its extradition claims.
India's most-wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim is on FBI's list of top terrorists in the world.