Uzair Baloch, the kingpin of Lyari Gang and one of the most wanted men with regard to brutal violence in this mega city has been arrested at Dubai airport by the Interpol while he was travelling on Iranian passport, sources on Monday said.
The government had announced a five million rupees head-money for the arrest, whether alive or dead, for Baloch and the Interpol had issued a red warrant against him after the Pakistani government sought its assistance for Baloch arrest.
Upon contacting the Interpol office in Dubai, Gulf News did not receive a confirmation or denial of the arrest
Baloch managed to flee the country after an intensive operation was launched in Karachi to tame rising genocides, kidnapping for ransom, extortion and roadside robberies that unleashed a reign of terror in this financial capital of Pakistan.
He was arrested from Dubai airport where he arrived from Muscat, a favourite rendezvous for Baloch after he left Pakistan. Sources said that he was travelling on an Iranian passport in which he was named as Abdul Gani, and a national of Iran.
The Lyari Gang, which misnomer is ‘Lyari Gang War’ surged after Baloch took over reins of the group after the killing of Abdul Rehman, alias Rehman Dakait, in an encounter with the police in 2012. Baloch developed his reputation as a ‘godfather’ for the residents of Lyari, one of the oldest and poverty-struck town of Karachi.
He would fund educational institutions, medical treatment, weddings and distribute alms about the poor from the money, which, he claimed, was earned through transportation and real estate businesses he inherited from his father.
He became a major political force of the Lyari Town and won patronage of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), to found Lyari Amn Committee (Peace Committee). Nevertheless, with the growing criminal reputation of the committee under Baloch, the PPP had to disassociated with it and the committee was proscribed.
His notoriety peaked when Arshad Pappu, the head of Baloch’s rival gang, was horrifically killed allegedly by Baloch and his accomplices in Lyari. Pappu was tortured before killing and was beheaded later on and the killers played football with his head, it is alleged.
After the operation was launched in September 2013, Baloch relations were disgruntled with Noor Mohammad alias Baba Ladala, Baloch’s confidant and lieutenant, who was known for his cold-blooded styles of murders and atrocities.
Ever since, Lyari became a battle ground among the people of Baloch and Ladla, who is also on the Interpol arrest list. Ladla being an illiterate man did not have a passport and thus was not able to travel abroad. However, it is believed that he illegally travels to bordering Iran to hide. Some unconfirmed reports suggest he was killed at the Pakistan-Iran borders.
Kidnapping for ransom and extortion by the gang also turned the city into a hunting place for businessmen, traders and professionals. Any ransom or extortion call from a cell phone registered in Lyari, would frighten the receiver and he would aptly pay off the ransom or extortion money to the caller.
Baloch is also being held responsible for the tortures and heinous murders of many activists of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Sources said that Pakistani authorities would contact the Interpol for the repatriation of Baloch to bring him back home and initiate the legal proceedings against him.