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Michel extradition & Dubai princess: Inside story of how ‘James Bond’ Ajit Doval guided CBI

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Spymaster Ajit Doval is going where no man has dared to go before.

Is the forced handing over of a Dubai princess worth the extradition of a British national from the UAE?

Highly-placed sources in government have told ThePrint that “there is, indeed, a quid pro quo” – that the princess’s father, none other than Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, prevailed upon the Narendra Modi government to return his daughter to him. In exchange, Christian James Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3600 crore-AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, was reportedly handed over to Delhi earlier this week.

Over the last 48 hours, ever since the CBI acknowledged the “guidance of (national security advisor) Ajit Doval” in Michel’s recovery, rumours have been rife that it was Doval who thought up the March operation in which the Dubai princess, Sheikha Latifa, was arrested some 50 km off the coast of Goa and handed back to the UAE authorities.

Also read: What is the AgustaWestland scam, and how Christian Michel’s extradition will impact it

Several other threads are hanging in the air. At the G-20 summit in Argentina last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a highly publicised meeting with the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman even as he was being chastised by the rest of the world for the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The connections between the Saudi royals and the UAE rulers are well-known.

March operation

Meanwhile, Latifa was meticulously planning her escape from her gilded cage in Dubai.It had taken her seven years to do so. In February, with the help of an ex-French spy, a Finnish capoeira teacher and a Filipino crew, she undertook a daring operation, which involved driving to Oman, getting into a jet-ski that took her into international waters, after which they sailed towards India’s coastal waters, a BBC documentary has revealed.

It is believed that none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed off on that March operation, when the Coast Guard, instead of rescuing a stranded young woman and bringing her to safety, handed her back to the UAE authorities.

Latifa, according to a video that she recorded before her escape attempt, talks about how she wants to desperately get away, and that if “you’re watching this… either I’m dead or in a very, very, very bad situation”.

Latifa’s lawyer, Toby Cadman, has since told the Arabic news site Al Bawaba that he had taken the case to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in July, where he pleaded with the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to issue notices to the Indian and UAE governments. But neither government has replied.

Also read: Rafale, Bofors, AgustaWestland: Why is every Indian defence deal hit by scam allegations?

The forced return of the Dubai ruler’s daughter took place in March. Only a month before, Prime Minister Modi visited the UAE for the second time in celebration of an old relationship that has been growing leaps and bounds – it is on the sweat and blood of migrants from India and the rest of South Asia that Dubai has been physically built, one skyscraper at a time, something the Dubai ruler acknowledged during the Kerala floods and reportedly offered Rs 700 crore in aid.

How Michel case progressed

In June, three months after Latifa was returned, UAE’s foreign minister announced that his country would invest $75 billion in India over the next few years.

And now, earlier this week, British national Christian Michel was extradited from Dubai, the first time a foreigner has been sent back to India on corruption charges. (Cases of earlier extraditions involving third-country nationals, but not to India, have been related to paedophiles, government sources told ThePrint.)

Modi has already taken credit for Michel’s return, telling a rally in Rajasthan that Michel will soon sing like a canary and spill the secrets of the alleged kickbacks in the AgustaWestland deal and the connection with the Gandhi family.

Certainly, Michel is a political tool. He will be brought out of CBI custody as and when over the next few weeks and months, in the run up to the general elections in the summer of 2019, and displayed as proof of Modi’s fight against corruption.

The other big projects haven’t worked certainly – not demonetisation and certainly not bringing back the black money stashed abroad and depositing Rs 15 lakh in each person’s account. GST was a double blow, but at least the “one nation-one tax” is limping back to some sort of normalcy.

Also read: CBI asks for more trouble by letting Ajit Doval ‘guide’ it in Christian Michel extradition

As for the connection between the Dubai princess and Christian Michel, Sheikha Latifa’s forced return to Dubai, a serious human rights violation, seems to have earned the Narendra Modi government enormous brownie points with UAE.

The acceleration of Michel’s case in the Dubai courts begins to take place soon after. From September-November, Michel is declared a ‘wanted’ person, he loses his bail conditions, the top court upholds the lower court’s decision and the ministry of justice – a political decision – orders the start of extradition proceedings.

A public prosecutor told Khaleej Times that Switzerland and Italy had earlier ignored extradition requests for Michel.

Note that none of India’s other extradition requests have been accepted by foreign governments – neither Vijay Mallya, nor Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. Only the UAE has delivered.

Ajit Doval, India’s super NSA, allegedly, is at the centre of all these operations. India’s top spymaster could well be its newest James Bond, going where no man has dared to go before.

Welcome to this brave new world.

Also read: The new Doval Durbar reduces India’s layered security system to a top-down Caliphate


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  1. Exchanging the British Christian James Michel with Vijay Mallya taking shelter in the Great Britain by talking to the British foreign ministry will probably be a more profitable thing ….rupees 350 cr Vs. 9000 Cr. Scam.

  2. Is there any chance of making a bargain of exchanging safely the British national Christian James Michel with the KingFisher Vijay Mallya who has taken safe shelter in Britain , once the investigation on Agusta chopper is over.

  3. It is sad that the govt instead of saving and protecting a woman in distress pushed her to fetters against humanism and more so against the celebrated Hindu culture from this holy land. What a demoralizing story was in waiting to happen by the keepers of life and safety of hapless and helpless women folks.

  4. This story is nothing but glorification of NSA CHIEF. They have done it before.just remeber surgical strike. This govt has nothing show except mr.Nitin Gadkaris work;which they don’t like to show. Its utter madness such covert things are leaked to media for selfish gain.

  5. Our Prime Minister never promised Rs1500000 in every Imdian’s account. I think he said such a thing during one of his 2014 election speech. But then he was not a Prime Misister, he was only campaigning and he was noteven sure of winning the elections.

  6. Not to demean Ajit Dovals past achievement. What is great about handing princess in lieu of offender. This is collecting ace card against Gandhi &Congress party. Does this mean apart from this case there is no black money involved or criminals involved who have caused more damage to our country

  7. Modi is more hype than substance n is ready to do anything including caring a damn for abetting “Human rights violation ” as quoted above for politics n not for real service to nation.

  8. By n large media is against Mr Modi no time he said 15 lakhs black money wl bedposted in each ac spreading such news is a partisn attude

  9. The spiderman man red handed with rafael scam, his son shorts got majority increase in business,

    Making people as Sanghi (गोवर) ?

  10. Why does every article of The Print seem to target Mr Modi? Do i have to remind you that Mr Michael is a part of the Agusta westland scam which happened when the congress party was in power. Isn’t it strange that for anything that happens in India (whether good or bad) only one person is blamed. Whether it is surgical strike or arrest of Mr. Michael is every action a political tool. I mean should a government stop working if the elections are close by I request the editor to write an article about the glorious congress rule in India, and pls enlighten us about the steps taken by Congress to curb black money.,If you claim to be unbiased.

  11. Do you seriously believe that Modi said he will deposit 15 lakhs in each persons account. Can you show a proof of this. How can a senior journalist like you peddle opposition lies like this in an article.

  12. what can you can expect from NaMo he can go to any extent to get political milage this man has no ethics he will take full advantage of oppertunities for his own selfishness. Bjp as political party will do but this man along with his group of gang or rush who keep him happy is not acceptable for country

  13. I think the steps taken by NaMo is in the interest of nation. There is no human rights violation, the princess had an unauthorised entry secondly in international relations there is no permanent friend or enemy it’s the national interest which dictates the relations. Lastly the previous government if not involved in any scam then why are they so scared about it. A well done move.

  14. Think positive for this govt.Do not criticize unknowingly just for the sake of criticise.First have a thorough research on economics then present patriotic view not politician views

  15. Absolutely poor content, seems fictitious and concocted.
    In UAE and Saudi Arabia, passports of thousands of Indians are held to make them work without paying salaries and they are kept hostages. Do they care about humaneness or human rights violations?
    Sad, we care about a single girl nit our fellow countrymen. Sick people blame govt for everything whether positive or negative. Probably they will earn a so called peace prize.

  16. It is perfect nationalism. Nation comes first above anything and also anti-corruptionalism. Nation wants to know where have gone those 350 crores of rupees in Augusta Westland deal of UPA time, who took them……..

  17. Sir this is james bond theory. Where is our investigative print media doing rounds of rounds of namo?
    Now at least a film can be produced about this theme.

  18. Can author of blog stop spreading fake news.
    UAE never offered help of 700 Cores for Kerala relief.

    We should be appreciating that key witness to corruption case is going to help corrupt politicians.

    Anderson who was responsible for thousands of innocent died was flown out by private jet.

    Problem with certain media is why is this government doing so good for the country.

    If BJP continues like this certainly some group of people and organization will be out of business.

  19. Some time tough decisions r good for national interest. All the top p-5 countries are the worst human Rights offenders, it is not only our responsibility to correct the world. Why media outlets like the print,wire were not so vocal on the issues of Muslim women in the country. And what doval has to do with it.the man is doing his job. It is very easy now these days to criticize some one like modi then quitly start criticizing other persons and then start criticizing India next. The lines r very thin now. Every minor to minor info finally take it end like this. Worst form of journalism.
    And the guy which was bought in place of that girl do we don’t need him. Some body really working hard to put curtens on the corrption done by cong leaders. India is watching, Good job and good luck.

  20. You guys atrvonownto be media when you say that 15 lakh are coming into accounts ….. it’s something even a illiterate understands that it meant to be spend in nation not into his account ……
    By the way try and investigate role of Rajiv’s closet person behind his murder and also of lal bhadur Shastri ji …….

    And also for remaining you think it as a human right issue that every nation has to do these things just to benefits itself ……
    The most powerful have done it the most …..
    Time to get a reality check and not sleep like dumb ……

  21. “Switzerland and Italy had earlier ignored extradition requests for Michel”… Then why did he choose to hide is UAE one wonders. He could have very well safely stayed in Italy or Switzerland itself isn’t it?

  22. Did the princess enter India legally or illegally? If she has entered illegally, the country is well within its rights to deport as per law.

  23. Prof PK Sharma,Freelance Journalist,Barnala (Punjab)

    O for the time being, at least it is a fine cover-up for NaMo to amuse, escape realities and divert attention of public from the stark truths !
    Celebrated Urdu Poet Mirza Ghalib ‘s immortal words naturally must haunt NaMo
    ” Dil Ko Behlaane Ke Liye Ghalib Ye Khyaal Acchha Hai ” !
    ( To amuse the heart Ghalib this thought is fine)
    It is all Courtesty Mr.Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor if Ms. Jyoti Malhotra’s story is to be believed and relied upon !
    One thing is certain, truth will be truth and for how long NaMo will be able to conceal ?
    Does Hinduism teach and preach to spread lies and falsehood ?
    Is it the NATIONALLSM ?
    Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala (Punjab)

  24. An action justified in national interest. There is no need to carry Responsible tag anymore. Responsible nations don’t become great powers. All democratic champions of human rights in West sell weapons to Saudi who kill innocents in Yemen. This is how the world works. This is called realism. I bet the journalists understand the term better. They and their crooked intentions.

  25. If. If this is true. This is the sickest thing this government has done. India and Indians should abhor such blatant violation of the the Human Rights of a woman. Be it any nationality.

    • “if this is true”… this article is an opinion piece, nothing in it is true..its purely opinion of the author, and without any facts.

  26. “serious human rights violation, seems to have earned the Narendra Modi government enormous brownie points with UAE.”

    The above is a quote from this article. It is sad enough that a young lady has been sent back to a place where she desperately did not want to return, even it was her own father’s home, but sadder would be a situation if some physical harm comes upon her on her father’s command. Saddam Hussain cajoled his sons-in-law to return to Iraq, and had them assassinated when they returned.

    The first four words of the quote, SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION sums up Mr Modi’s style of functioning even within India. Be it ghar wapsi, love jihad, Romeo squads, cow lynchings, or even demonetization, Mr Modi has scant regard for a tender thing called humaneness. Economic failures or naivety, or considering huge amounts of a poor people’s monies, to the tune of 36000 crores as his personal money that he could spend in whatever way he wanted, are all lesser “crimes” in comparison. It is the tendency towards a regimen represented by this phrase, “serious Human Rights violation” that makes Mr Modi absolutely unfit to rule a secular, democratic country.

    • This is how you support human rights. When my tax money is looted from the exchequer, it is violation of my human rights, and thousands like me. When millions of rupees which was supposed to reach poorest of poor so that they can have a day’s meal was channeled towards a few influential, that’s a great violation of human rights. But you are just fine with that, encouraging corruption in the process. After all, they say, everything is fine in war and love, after all, what is happening here is a pseudo-war where opposition is not worried about going into the lowest levels, by inciting violence and hatred in the public, never bothering about so called human rights. Why would otherwise a govt will falsely implicate a Sadhvi or Colonel in a false case without any charge sheet for years together? Isn’t it violation of their human rights? There is a saying – to save a house, be ready to sacrifice one person, one family for a village, one village for nation. In that sense, Govt’s action is perfectly valid in the view of national interest.
      May be in your view, even arrest of Michel could be considered as violation of his human rights, so you could ask for setting him free, let the country doom.

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