Kathmandu: Former Nepalese Minister Salim Miya Ansari’s ‘entrepreneur’ son Yunus Ansari is the most well-protected prisoner in Lalitpur’s Nakkhu Jail, located 9 km away from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.
Chairman of the defunct National TV group, Yunus Ansari faces trial for running an organised crime syndicate involved in smuggling of high quality Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN). The crime syndicate led by him partners with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s D-company in the Himalayan republic. In a recent development, Yunus Ansari is also suspected of smuggling arms for Kashmiri militants through his underground network linked with Pakistan’s spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI).
In a bid to restrict his underworld activities, Yunus Ansari was recently shifted from Kathmandu’s Central prison to Nakkhu Jail, where he is lodged in Block C barrack, meant for dreaded terrorists and criminals.
Talking to IANS, Central Police spokesperson, DIG Neeraj Bahadur Shahi confirmed that Yunus Ansari is under detention in the FICN case. “We (Nepal police) arrested Yunus and three others (Pakistani nationals) in this case, but I can give you more details on the accused only after confirming facts with the Home Ministry,” he said. DIG Shahi was a bit hesitant to elaborate on Yunus’s more darker side, the one operating for India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim.
Police sources revealed to IANS that Yunus Ansari was shifted to remote Nakkhu jail following an intelligence enquiry against him related to his organised crime activities. Though not confirmed by Central police, it has been reported that he had despatched a consignment of arms through porous Nepal-Bihar border meant for Kashmiri militants groups active in Jammu and Kashmir. The consignment was smuggled in a truck, returning from a border check post near Raxual, after off-loading essential commodity items in Nepal. Sources said that despite a ban on meeting dreaded undertrials, Yunus Ansari receives several guests, including his close aide in the jail. It is alleged that entire gang operations are run by him from his barrack inside the jail.
It’s an open secret that Yunus Ansari and his father Salim Miya Ansari, a former Minister, have been open sympathisers for Kashmiri militants groups. Salim Miya Ansari had established the Nepal Muslim Ettihad Association (NMEA) which runs 42 units spread over the Terai area districts, bordering UP and Bihar. Nepal’s Muslim population, which is around 5 per cent, mostly lives in Terai districts.
NMEA, in its various press statements, has openly expressed solidarity with Kashmiri separatist groups. After Salim Miya Ansari’s death in 2015, Yunus Ansari started travelling to Pakistan and came in direct contact with Kashmiri separatist groups and also with D-company, a criminal network operated by Dawood Ibrahim through ISI officials.
In May 2019, Nepalese police swooped down on four people at immigration desk of the airport, after they arrived from Qatar with five suitcases, loaded with FICN with the face value over Rs 7 crore. The operation, on a specific tip off from Indian agencies, saw Yunus Ansari and three Pakistani nationals — Muhammad Akhtar (passport number: AA134594), Nadia Anwar (passport number: CN1812032), and Nasir Uddin (passport number: AR2406432) — being arrested on the spot.
Though the police did not divulge much information on the Pakistani nationals, sources here at Indian embassy had revealed that Akhtar, Anwar and Nasiruddin were ISI operatives and the consignment of FICN smuggled by Yunus Ansari, originated from Karachi. The accused arrived in Kathmandu via Qatar only to camouflage their shady operation.
Slapped with several cases of underworld crimes, Yunus Ansari, a frequent visitor to Pakistani Embassy in Kathmandu, was also seen in public functions including Eid milan parties organised by it.
Besides the 2019 case, Yunus Ansari was booked in another case of FICN in 2014, in which fake Indian currency brought by ISI operatives in Nepal was seized from his possession.
With an objective to cover up his underworld operations, Yunus Ansari, at the behest of Dawood Ibrahim gang, had set up a media business in Kathmandu after launching a TV channel under the National group led by him. Sources said that channel headquarters soon became a transit point for running narcotics and FICN rackets. However, since his arrest last year, the channel has shut its operations.