The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has told New Delhi that it will not allow any underworld activity on its territory that threatens India and will act to enforce the law on the basis of actionable intelligence from India, in a move to prevent Pakistan-based mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and his associates from operating with impunity from the UAE, specifically Dubai, a top official said, asking not to be identified.
The cooperation between intelligence agencies of the two countries comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second visit to the UAE in the first quarter of 2018 to increase bilateral business relations between the two countries.
According to Indian intelligence officials, there is nothing wrong with Ibrahim, as some reports have claimed, and he is frequently moved by Pakistani intelligence to keep him safe; the officials add that D-company, as Ibrahim’s unit is known, is still a force to reckon with in Mumbai, where extortion is its main line of work, and that it is involved in the real estate business in the UAE through proxies.
Indian diplomatic sources are tight-lipped about the enhanced security co-operation with UAE, and the attempt to crack down on the D-company, but agree that the bilateral relationship between the two countries has undergone a sea change (for the better) after PM Modi’s visit to Abu Dhabi in 2015 and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al- Nahyan’s visit to India this year as chief guest during the Republic Day.
“There is no secret memorandum of understanding between the two countries but a robust security relationship between security agencies of both sides. The information exchange varies from who among the Indian diaspora in West Asia joined the so-called Islamic State to the activities of Indian underworld/terror fugitives based in Pakistan,” said a senior diplomat on condition of anonymity.
India and the UAE are also closely cooperating to counter religious radicalisation and violent extremism with the Hedayah Centre in Abu Dhabi at the forefront of this activity.
It is working with Indian Muslim scholars apart from national security officials.
The two countries are also establishing a joint cyber-security centre in India with the aim of leveraging technology in the fight against terrorism, radical extremism, and underworld activities in the region.