Organised crime in India

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Organised crime in India
Founding location India
Territory Active in many parts of India
Australia, Burma, Canada, France including its overseas departments, Germany, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Philippines,Thailand, United Kingdom, United States and United Arab Emirates
Ethnicity Indian
Criminal activities Racketeering, drug trafficking, corruption, entryism, extortion, loan sharking, human trafficking, money laundering, robbery, bootlegging, arms trafficking, gambling, funding Bollywood illegally, gunpoint marriage with Bollywood actresses, bribery, skimming, tax evasion and fraud
Allies Indo-Canadian gangs Indo-Arabian relationships

Organised crime in India is a reference to organised crime elements originating in India and active in many parts of the world. The mafia is involved in many criminal activities based in India and international as well.[1][2] The Mafia may also refers to those powerful families that have criminal aspects to them.[3]


Main article: D-Company

D-Company is the name given to the organised crime group controlled by Dawood Ibrahim. It has been argued that the D-Company is not a stereotypical organised crime cartel in the strict sense of the word, but rather a collusion of sole criminal and terrorist groups based around Dawood Ibrahim's personal.[clarification needed][4][5]

Punjabi Mafia[edit]

Punjabi mafia originates in Punjab, India. They operate in Germany, Canada, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and the UK.

A major form of Indian organised crime are the foreign-based, Indian-Canadian criminal organisations, the vast majority of them being of Punjabi origin from the Jat Sikh community, whose exploits have led to over 100 gang deaths of young men of Punjabi descent in the Canada since the 1990s. Indo-Canadian gangs are one of Canada's major organised crime problems, ranked third behind motorcycle clubs and Aboriginal criminal groups. These criminal organisations are mainly active in the provinces of British Columbia.

Pathan Mafia[edit]

See also: Karim Lala

The Pathan mafia, a term coined by Mumbai law enforcement because of the majority of the crime syndicate's members were ethnic Pashtuns that immigrated from the Afghanistan's Kunar province, dominated organised crime in Mumbai from the 1940s till the 1980s. In the beginning they were led by Karim Lala, who's often called the founder of the Mumbai mafia, and operated in the Mumbai docks. They were especially involved in hashish trafficking, protection rackets, extortion, illegal gambling, gold smuggling and contract killing and held a firm stranglehold over Mumbai's underworld.[6]

The Pathan mafia's reign ended when the elderly Karim Lala was replaced by his nephew and a myriad of younger gang members. The monopoly of the Pathans was challenged by a crime syndicate composed of local Indian gangsters led by ambitious Dawood Ibrahim, the later founder of the D-Company. This led to vicious gang wars in the 1980s with casualties on both sides, but which eventually ended the complete control over the Mumbai underworld of the Pathan mafia.[7] The crime syndicate however is till active and still has a certain degree of influence in the city, albeit on a much smaller scale it used to have. They allegedly also have stakes in real estate which still occasionally brings them into conflict with the Indian gangs in the city.[8]

Unrelated to the historical mafia in Mumbai, Pathan criminal organisations have also appeared in Europe. Cities such as Birmingham[9] in the UK and Hamburg in Germany are the most notable ones. Especially in Hamburg, Afghan criminal organisations are active in hashish trafficking, protection rackets and Extortion and have directly rivalled the traditional underworld dominance of Albanian and Turkish-Kurdish gangs in the city.[10][11]


India is a major transit point for heroin from the Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent en route to Europe. India is also the world's largest legal grower of opium, and experts estimate that 5–10% of the legal opium is converted into illegal heroin and 8–10% is consumed in high quantities as concentrated liquid. The pharmaceutical industry is also responsible for a lot of illegal production of mandrax, much of which is smuggled into South Africa. Diamond smuggling via South Africa is also a major criminal activity, and diamonds are also sometimes used to disguise shipments of heroin. Finally, a lot of money laundering takes place in the country, mostly through the use of the traditional hawala system, although India has criminalised money laundering as of 2003.[12] [13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Can Narendra Modi bring Dawood Ibrahim back to India from Pakistan?". dna. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Know about Haji Mastan, the first underworld don of Mumbai". Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "U.S. slaps sanctions against Chhota Shakeel, Tiger Memon". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2012-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Untitled Page". Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Dongri to Dubai". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "How Mumbai underworld became India's most dreaded mafia". Retrieved 6 May 2015.  External link in |work= (help)
  8. ^ "There’ll be blood, mafia tells late godfather’s kin". dna. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Gangland UK". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Hamburger Morgenpost. "Schutzgeld-Gang plante Übernahme des Lokstedter Bordells: Machtkampf im Milieu: Sie wollten alles". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Hans Christian Lohmann (4 September 2001). "Prozess gegen Schutzgeld-Erpresser droht zu platzen". DIE WELT. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Nations Hospitable to Organized Crime and Terrorism - Library of Congress report
  13. ^ "Final film in Indian Gangster Trilogy a Must See". Cinema Strikes Back. 2005-08-24. Retrieved 2011-07-07.