When whispers were doing rounds around the DHA Housing Colony in Karachi over a plush bungalow that was mysteriously abandoned and that it belonged to a deceased individual named Rizwan Shaikh--A stocky and short man with a low profile and a highly wealthy businessman who used to travel frequently between Tajikistan, Karachi and Dubai--on a private jet. The reporters at The Daily Jang wanted to probe further and learnt from sources that Rizwan was a actually a fugitive on the run known as Chhota Shakeel in India who had an active Interpol Red Corner Notice on his name. He was wanted by India and had acquired Pakistani citizenship in 1997 when he was chosen to be the main operations-in-charge of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
He was popularly known as Shakeel in a closed inner circle of senior ISI officers and friends and always had armed bodyguards surround him.
Little did the team at The Daily Jang know of a parallel investigation that was being conducted by the then-ruling government based on a media report that appeared in the Hindustan Times, New Delhi, in 2018 as well as other subsequent media reports, that suggested the resident of Karachi happened to be an Indian-born fugitive wanted by multiple agencies with an Interpol Red-Corner notice on his name. As pressure was mounting on Pakistan from the DEA and FATF as Shakeel was a wanted narco-terrorist, they forced the government to conduct an investigation into the matter, which they had no choice but to co-operate with. They began by confirming the photographs of his wife Zaira and Rahim Merchant, which appeared in the Indian print media to be true.
Pakistani authorities immediately informed the DEA and along with the CIA launched an independent and covert investigation into the matter and discovered that all of the information was genuine. The individual was indeed Chhota Shakeel.
After having fled the city of Mumbai in the late eighties, Shakeel joined Dawood Ibrahim in Dubai, had cosmetic surgery to change his appearance, subsequently moving to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where he bought a second Tajik Citizenship in 1993 as soon as Tajikistan was declared an independent nation.
He ran businesses in Pakistan and in the UAE under an alias of Rizwan Shaikh in an attempt to avoid both Interpol and the US drug-enforcement agency The DEA.
His daughter Zoya, a doctor who is married to an American doctor of Pakistani origin, have moved away with the rest of the family including one of Shakeel's wives, Zaira, to Cape Town, South Africa. They currently reside at a farm house-cum-private safari owned by Shakeel, claims Abdul Elahi, a retired ISI officer who lives in Chicago, USA, and this information was also confirmed by a few senior long-time residents of the DHA Housing Society, Karachi, who wished to remain anonymous.
His original name was Shaikh Babumiyan Shaikh alias Chhota Shakeel, revealed his wife Zaira when contacted by the team at Jang News. She also revealed that he had a love for diamonds, Bollywood film stars.
Shakeel's death took place in Islamabad on January 06, 2017, at approximately 22:00 hours when he was driving from Dushanbe to Islamabad where a suffered from chest pain, after a dinner hosted in Dushanbe by members of the notorious Odessa Mafia. Military hospital reports showed excessive doses of alcohol and opiates in his blood.
He died of a cardiac arrest as he was reaching Islamabad, confirmed Zubair Ahmad Khan, a retd. Lt. Colonel in the Pakistani military, and went on to add that "Shakeel rarely lived in Karachi and largely in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and mainly used Karachi to visit his family and conduct his businesses from Dubai via the voice of an individual named Rahim Merchant who took over Shakeel's identity when he entered Pakistan as he wanted to evade the law and obtain a new identity."
Shakeel never spoke on a cell phone and only used encrypted, secure satellite phones to communicate with business associates and members of the global Mafiosi. Rahim Merchant, however, continues to communicate with Indian media channels, as he has for 2 decades, and masquerading as Chhota Shakeel and continues running his businesses in Dubai and Cyprus.
"The Dawood Ibrahim gang is now reduced just a handful of members, it's operations visibly reduced by more than 90% as compared to when Chhota Shakeel was alive," confirmed Jamal Khan,A serving ISI officer. He went on to add that Chhota Shakeel was closely associated with Indian police officer Deven Bharti.
Shakeel's businesses in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and many other countries are being currently run by wanted fugitive Anees Ibrahim-Dawood, Ibrahim's brother who runs the syndicate now, along with an Rahim merchant The phone calls that are made to Indian media channels, namely India Today TV today, Aaj Tak and CNN_IBN News, are the voice of Rahim Merchant and not Chhota Shakeel. Merchant lives in Dubai and lives a lavish lifestyle.
Multiple intelligence agencies, based on their investigation, have declared Shakeel Babumiyan Shaikh a.k.a Chhota Shakeel as deceased as of January 6, 2017, at approximately 22:00 Hrs.
This was also confirmed by Limacharlienews.com in the USA--A CIA-run website by Dr Gary Busch--A member of the academia and sources from within the ISI and the military.