Dawood 3rd most wanted in Forbes` list

Dawood Ibrahim is third in the Forbes` Most Wanted Fugitives list topped by Osama bin Laden.

Updated: May 17, 2010, 23:52 PM IST

Washington: India`s most wanted don, Dawood Ibrahim, suspected of having organised the 1993 Mumbai bombings, has grown more powerful, taking the third spot on the Forbes` Most Wanted Fugitives list topped by Osama bin Laden.

Placed fourth in the last edition of the list, Ibrahim has replaced Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, "a major figure in international Eurasian organised crime" found involved in cases ranging from "drug distribution, arms sale to trafficking in stolen vehicles".

Tokhtakhounov, "suspected of fixing everything from beauty pageants to Olympic events", has moved down to number six.

Not a single one of the world`s most notorious criminals has been brought to justice since the list first appeared in April 2008, the US business magazine noted.

Unchallenged at the top, Osama bin Laden, assumed to be hiding in Pakistan`s tribal areas, has managed for eight years to avoid the largest manhunt in history. Other fugitives on the list have not only remained free, some have arguably become more powerful, it said.

Second on the list, Joaquin Guzman, Mexico`s most notorious drug trafficker, has extended his control over corridors used to smuggle cocaine into the US, as some of his rivals have fallen in the bloody war between the Mexican Army and the cartels.

Dawood Ibrahim, who heads the organised crime group D-Company, and Matteo Messina Denaro, an Italian mafia playboy, also appear to have consolidated control of their organisations, Forbes noted.

Ibrahim`s 5,000-member criminal syndicate has engaged in everything from narcotics to contract killing, working mostly in Pakistan, India and the United Arab Emirates, it said.

Ibrahim shares smuggling routes with Al Qaeda, the US government says, and has collaborated with both Al Qaeda and its South Asian affiliate, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which pulled off the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, possibly with Ibrahim`s help.

Ibrahim is suspected of having organised the 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people and left wounded 713. Though the Pakistani government denies it, Ibrahim is probably in Pakistan, where he has important ties to the powerful intelligence service, Forbes said.

Forbes said it consulted with law enforcement agencies in the US and around the world to identify its top 10. Everyone on the list has been criminally indicted or charged, some in national jurisdictions and some by international tribunals.

They all are accused of a long history of committing serious crimes and are still considered dangerous. And each represents a type of criminal problem with which legal institutions in diverse jurisdictions are grappling, it said.