Lawyers of Muhammad Asif Hafeez have claimed that US’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents met the Lahore-born gold and silver trader in Dubai between 2014 to 2017 and asked him about the whereabouts of India’s most wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim, 1993 Mumbai bombings, Tora Bora, the Taliban, and Karachi businessman Jabir Motiwala.
This may be noted that Hafeez is also known as ‘Sultan’ of the alleged drug selling network that extends from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan to the Middle East and African countries.
American agents asked Muhammad Asif Hafeez to help them with information for a breakthrough on India’s most wanted Dawood Ibrahim, according to court papers.
Asif Hafeez, according to court papers, told US agents: “I further confirmed that whilst Dawood Ibrahim was in Dubai, he used to sit in the front row of Bollywood performances and was well known in the industry. In fact I recall that before any performance started the performers would ask him ‘Ijazzat hai?’ which means ‘do we have permission to begin?’”
The Pakistani national, according to the legal papers, was asked if he knew whether Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Dawood Ibrahim had any connections. When asked about Dawood’s current whereabouts, Asif Hafeez told the US agents that he didn’t know where Dawood Ibrahim currently was.
The DEA agents asked the Lahore-born trader for information about Jabir Motiwala, who they alleged was managing Dawood Ibrahim’s affairs in Dubai. According to court papers, Hafeez told the US agents that Jabir Siddiq was a stockbroker who worked in the stock exchange in Karachi but nothing further.
The two agents then asked Hafeez for Motiwala’s number which he provided to them after obtaining it from his contacts.
Asif Hafeez has told the court that the US agents became forceful to him and threatened that if he didn’t give them the specific information that they needed then it would be bad for him and they would in turn “come after me”.
The UK authorities say they arrested Asif Hafeez on 25 August 2017 on the US request of extradition for charges related to import and preparation of Class A drugs.
In April 2021, news agency PTI had reported that Jabir is set to be freed from a London jail and fly out to Pakistan after the US decided to drop an extradition request for him to face money laundering, drug trafficking, and blackmail charges.