FIA team to bring Hammad Siddiqui back from Dubai


A Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team is likely to fly to Dubai in a couple of days to take Hammad Siddiqui into custody, who was caught about a week ago in United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Interpol and Dubai police, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Siddiqui is a key suspect in the 2012 Baldia factory tragedy that claimed over 250 lives.

A two-member team of the officials of the Counter-Terrorism Wing of FIA is being constituted to take custody of Siddiqui and bring him back to Pakistan. The two officials of the FIA, Badaruddin Baloch and Rehmatullah Domki, are likely to fly to Dubai to bring the prime suspect back. Baloch and Domki had earlier flown to Bangkok to bring another Baldia factory fire suspect – Rehman Bhola – back to the country.

FIA officials said that the presence of officials from Pakistan, either from the FIA Interpol in Islamabad or Counter-Terrorism Wing in Karachi, is mandatory in such high-profile cases.

“The presence of these officials is mandatory at the time of handing over or taking custody of a suspect in any other country,” said Domki while replying to a query.

“The officials are responsible for the safe journey of the suspect,” he said, adding that he has yet to receive a notification about his or others departure to Dubai.

Baldia factory fire prime suspect Hammad Siddiqui ‘arrested in Dubai’

Siddiqui, former in-charge of the Karachi Tanzeemi Committee of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), is likely to be brought back to Pakistan in a week.

“The documentation is almost done,” a source in the UAE privy to the matter told The Express Tribune. “An FIA team is likely to reach Dubai to take Siddiqui into custody, after which Siddiqui would be in Karachi within 48 hours.”

Siddiqui remained one of the most influential figures in the MQM, as head of the Tanzeemi Committee, which was the most dreaded body of the MQM. However, Siddiqui was sacked on May 21, 2013 when Altaf Hussain dissolved the committee for violating party discipline. Shortly afterwards, Siddiqui left for Dubai and his sudden departure left the airport agencies in panic.

Hammad Siddiqui will be given ‘clean chit’ soon, predicts MQM leader

But soon Siddiqui came under the radar of the Baldia factory fire case as the mastermind behind setting the factory on fire. Besides the Baldia factory fire, Siddiqui had also been accused of running teams of target killers, extortionists, land grabbing and china-cutting mafias in Karachi.

He was taken into custody by Dubai police about a week ago in UAE with the help of Interpol. “A woman reportedly identified as Malaika Khan has also been taken into custody and is being interrogated along with Siddiqui. The investigators in Dubai are also looking for two of Siddiqui’s comrades, Danish and Naveed, who managed to escape the scene when they saw the cops taking Siddiqui into custody,” revealed a source.

“Having ‘iqama’, a UAE work visa, Siddiqui also runs his own businesses, including a restaurant in UAE.”

Another source privy to the matter told The Express Tribune that after at least three to four days of his arrest, he [Siddiqui] remained in touch with his close confidants, including some political leaders of Pakistan.

Police name Hammad Siddiqui as prime suspect in fourth charge sheet of Baldia fire

Siddiqui is not the only suspect arrested in connection with the Baldia factory fire as two more prime suspects, Zubair alias Charya and Rehman Bhola, have already been arrested. One of them, Bhola, appeared on December 19, 2016 before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) and confessed that Siddiqui allegedly sought extortion and shares in the Baldia factory and upon refusal, he decided to punish them.

After the hearing, the ATC also issued red warrants for Siddiqui. The authority then sought Interpol to arrest Siddiqui and bring him back to Pakistan for further investigation and legal proceedings.

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