Zee Media Bureau
London: Muhammed Iqbal Memon (also known as Iqbal Mirchi), an accused in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim, died of heart attack in London on Wednesday night.
Mirchi, facing drug smuggling charges in India, was also under investigation over the Indian Premier League match-fixing and betting scandal.
In 2011, the London police had arrested Iqbal Mirchi, but the international drug baron was soon out on bail. A red corner notice had been issued against him in 1994 by Interpol on Central Bureau of Investigation`s request.
The Metropolitan police had charged him with threatening to kill his 41-year-old associate Nadeem Kader, who also lived in the Hornchurch area of Essex where Mirchi owned a six-bedroom house.
The 63-year old Mirchi was ranked among the world`s top 50 drug barons.
A United Nations report had claimed he is a senior figure in the `D` company, a worldwide organised-crime syndicate headed by Dawood.
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.
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.
(With PTI inputs)