NEW DELHI: One of the most trusted alleged “associates” of Pakistan criminal syndicate leader, Dawood Ibrahim, was last year awarded the MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire—the third highest civilian award of the United Kingdom.
The 47-year-old London-based Mumtaz Khan, who is a Pakistani-UK national, was given the award in June last year for his “community service” which he does through a chain of community kitchens. The said award, which was announced on 1 January 2022 vide notice number 3956814, reads, “The Queen has been graciously pleased, to give orders for the following promotions in, and appointments to, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire M.B.E. To be Ordinary Members of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order to Mumtaz Khan for tackling food poverty in the UK and abroad.”
The same news, as expected, was prominently covered across the UK in which Mumtaz Khan was introduced as “Taz Khan”.
However, “Taz Khan” in reality is Mumtaz Ghaffar Khan, a Pakistani British national who in September 2017 stood as a guarantor for Pakistani businessman Jabir Siddiq, alias “Moti”, who is alleged to be a “top lieutenant” of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and was arrested by the UK police in August 2017.
The National Insurance number of Jaffar, who was born on 1 December 1974, is JB897184A. This number is unique and does not change with a change in name. Sources alleged to The Sunday Guardian that the name change was executed in late 2017-early 2018, immediately after he appeared as a guarantor for “Moti”. This was probably done to avoid the attention that the development had generated, sources allege.
The said community kitchen chain, registered under the name of “London Community Kitchen CIC” with registration number 12391200, has Rabia Ghaffar as its director. Rabia is the mother of Mumtaz Ghaffar Khan. On 1 October last year, Mumtaz filed an application to remove himself from the position of “person with significant controls” in the company. The said company was incorporated in January 2020.
Sources alleged to The Sunday Guardian that Ghaffar is a regular visitor to Dawood’s home situated at Khayaban-e-Shamsheer and Khayaban-e-Mujhaid, and goes to Karachi at least six times a year. Unlike previously reported, Dawood is very much alive and active, with The Sunday Guardian confirming this from individuals who had recently met him.
The Sunday Guardian has accessed a recent picture of Rabia with Tehsin, the wife of Anees Ibrahim, who is a key member of the crime syndicate. Dawood, sources in Pakistani intelligence agencies stated, had kept all his family members at one place, with he himself living in the biggest palatial bungalow, while the rest, numbering at least 20 families, living in comparatively smaller houses. The said houses are located at less than 10-minute distance from the shrine of Hazrat Syed Abduallah Shah Ghazi who was a Sufi saint. One of Dawood’s sons, who passed away from dengue, too, is buried there.
Mobile phones are strictly not allowed inside his house. Sources said that bodyguards are not allowed to leave Dawood alone even for a moment and even when he is meeting personal friends, he is always guarded by the guards.
While he himself ventures out less, his family members are frequent travellers and when they go out, a convoy of multiple SUVs with armed men sitting inside follow them. Apart from realty business, the Ibrahims have invested heavily in toilet and tissue paper factories, most of which are located in Hyderabad of Pakistan.
The money that the Ibrahims earn in Pakistan is mostly invested in the United Arab Emirates where one of the daughters, Mahrukh, lives. A significant amount of the same is invested in buying properties in the United Kingdom, as Dawood’s long-term plan is to shift his next generation to the United Kingdom in the coming years. In December 2017, Ghaffar was declared as “bankrupt” by a British court in December 2017. He was accused of cheating and defrauding “First Abu Dhabi Bank, Dubai” due to which the bank had taken legal action against him in London. The Sunday Guardian’s request for a response from the bank seeking details on the nature of the offence committed by Ghaffar went unanswered till the time this report went to press.
While seeking a bail for him on 27 September 2018, besides Ghaffar, former Pakistani High Commissioner to UK, Sahebzada Ahmed Khan, too, had stood as guarantor for Moti, but the court still denied bail to Moti.
Motiwala, after spending 32 months in Wandsworth prison, London, was released on 14 April 2021 and landed in Karachi on 15 April, the day after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) dropped the case against him. Moti was arrested in August 2018 by the Scotland Yard police from a hotel near Edgware Road at the US government’s request for extradition.
Ghaffar, sources stated, is now counted among the “good friends” of influential individuals such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan, TV journalist Kay Burley and Lord Mayor of Manchester, Yasmeen Dar. The Sunday Guardian reached out to the Cabinet Department of the UK government seeking the following questions related to Ghaffar: 1. How was Mr Ghaffar given a prestigious recognition like MBE despite his background of defrauding a bank and standing as a guarantee for an individual who was arrested by the London police on the inputs received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)?
- There is strong evidence to support that Mr Ghaffar is actively involved in handling Dawood Ibrahim’s finances in the UK. He makes frequent trips to Karachi to meet Dawood. Despite that he was given this award. Does this not show that other reasons than merit were involved in giving him this award?
No response was received until the time this report went to press. As per rules, who gets these honours is decided by the honours committee which is made up of both senior civil servants and people who are independent of government. Each honours committee has an independent chairperson.
The committee’s recommendations go to the Prime Minister and then to the Queen, who awards the honour. All nominees are checked by various government departments to make sure they’re suitable for an honour. Clearly, in the case of Ghaffar, these checks failed. The Sunday Guardian reached out to Ghaffar for a response, but none was received until the time this report went to press.