US sanctions Dawood Ibrahim two top aides

Washington: The United States today slapped sanctions against underworld don Dawood Ibrahim`s two top aides Chhota Shakeel and Tiger Memon for their role in drug trafficking in the region.

The US Department of the Treasury`s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Chhota Shakeel and Ibrahim `Tiger` Memon as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for their roles as part of a criminal organization run by Dawood Ibrahim known as `D Company`.

Dawood was named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in October 2003, and in June 2006, he was named as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker. Also in June 2006, the Dawood Organization was named as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker.

"Treasury continues to target the nexus of crime and terrorism in South Asia with today`s action against one of the world`s most notorious criminal organizations," said OFAC Director Adam Szubin.

Chhota Shakeel, 57, is Dawood`s lieutenant who coordinates for D Company with other organized crime and terror groups.

Memon, 52, is a trusted lieutenant who controls the group`s businesses across South Asia and is wanted by Indian authorities for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings.

Interpol has issued provisional arrest warrants or "red notices" for Shakeel and Memon, both Indian nationals.

As a result of today`s action, US persons are prohibited from conducting financial or commercial transactions with Chhota Shakeel and `Tiger` Memon, and any assets they may have under US jurisdiction are frozen.

The Treasury said Dawood and his organization have been involved in international narcotics trafficking activities since the late 1980s. Their smuggling routes include South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Drug trafficking activities of D Company include the smuggling of heroin and hashish from Afghanistan and Thailand to the United States, Western Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa.