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COVID-19 outbreak has not only engulfed us into misery, uncertainty and fear, but has also severely impacted Indian economy, as businesses across the industries are taking a beating because of the lockdown. The Coronavirus outbreak has not even spared the underworld business.
And one such Coronavirus-stricken business is that of the underworld don, the world's most notorious criminal and India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim.
Obviously, unlike Bollywood stars, he can’t share videos of his lockdown chores and ‘stay home’ advisories on social media, but the infamous don, whose character has been many a time penned and portrayed in Bollywood films, is very much following social distancing like all of us. As our curiosities are running amuck in the confines of our homes during the lockdown, seasoned crime journalist Shams Tahir Khan, who has had multiple interactions with Dawood Ibrahim and associates for his stories, says Dawood’s business has got severely affected because of the COVID-19.
Extortion calls from Dawood’s aides to the businessmen are not being fructified as Coronavirus threat has not only forced Dawood Ibrahim to live in self-imposed isolation, but COVID-19 has also replaced Dawood as the most dreadful phenomenon. As there are no revenues being generated in most of the businesses and there’s an uncertainty looming large on even the lives, the businessmen are out rightly defying calls from the extortionist.
So, like other regular businesses, infamous D-Company (as Dawood’s network of businesses is referred to) is also severely cash-crunched. Dawood’s trusted lieutenants - Anees Ibrahim, Chota Shakeel, Faheem Machmach - who had been managing his extortion business, have not been even making cold calls for extortion to their new and old clients.
Shams Tahir Khan, in his show, says that Dawood Ibrahim, who has allegedly been running his underworld empire from Karachi in Pakistan, used to conduct his regular meetings to oversee his legal and illegal businesses. Dawood Ibrahim's legal and illegal businesses, including construction, extortion, drugs, betting, smuggling, money laundering, etc. are spread across 12 countries including India, certain African countries, Dubai, UAE, etc. It is alleged that currently D-Company’s business worth is of around rupees 50,000 crore.
After being hit by Coronavirus, when Pakistan issued advisory cancelling to and fro travelling, Dawood had to cancel all his meetings in Karachi as he put himself in quasi self-isolation. Since then, Dawood Ibrahim has been meeting only his family members and very few of associates and he’s been religiously following social distancing.
A very prominent reason of Dawood having exercising extra caution in COVID-19 outbreak, as Shams Tahir Khan states in his show Crime Tak, is that Dawood is a senior citizen now, and Coronavirus has proven to be more fatal for senior citizens. Born in 1955, Dawood will turn 65 this December.
Ironically, what investigation and intelligence agencies across world couldn’t achieve over decades, a tiny-unseeable virus has done! The fear of Coronavirus has scared and stopped Dawood, who has been ruling the underworld for decades on the basis of instilling fear in public.