As the Pakistan cricket team begins a tour of England, attention has turned towards a controversial British Pakistani businessman, Abdul Sattar, who made the headlines after the death of Bob Wolomer, former coach of Pakistan’s national team.
Pakistan Cricket Board, which faced humiliation 6 years ago when cricketers were caught match fixing in London, has told players not to entertain any kind of contact with Abdul Sattar who runs businesses in London and has always shadowed touring Pakistani teams.
Abdul Sattar, now 48, is the owner of Mango’s nightclub in London’s Wembley and Crystal Mujra Club also in Wembley. He made headlines when Bob Woolmer died in suspicious circumstances during the world cup of 2007 in South Africa. Abdul Sattar had been staying in the same Pegasus Hotel as the Pakistan cricket team and had to rush out of the country soon after the controversial death of the cricket coach and manager on 18 March 2007.
Sattar was the owner of Mango’s nightclub, then located at pennington street, near Tower Bridge and was also the owner of Sangeet mujra club in East London’s Stratford area and it was at these venues that he hosted the team’s social activities – namely private dance sessions for Pakistani cricketers. Everyone in the Pakistani camp knew that Sattar was best friends with Muhammad Asif, jailed for match fixing, Waqar Younis and Inzimam-ul-Haq, the current selector of the national team. Bob Woolmer, Pakistan’s celebrated coach, knew about Sattar’s contacts with Pakistanis stars and knew Sattar personally. A senior member of Pakistan Cricket Board’s security unit has told all touring players to follow the discipline strictly and not entertain requests from any member of the public or media but in particular the name that has been given to the team is Abdul Sattar.
Given the PCB stance it is understood Sattar is furious and intelligence reports that Sattar and Mazhar Mahmood (the News of the World fame reporter) are jointly plotting to trap the current line up. Mazhar Mahmood set the spot fixing trap in August 2010 that led to the arrest and jailing of Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir. The men were arrested after the fourth Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.
Soon after Woolmer’s death, Pakistani team unexpectedly got eliminated at the hands of Ireland in the 2007 cricket world cup.
Initially the police reported following the results of a pathology report that Woolmer had been strangled to death but three months later the police changed their mind, following a further pathology report, that Woolmer had died of natural causes and not murder and that the case was now closed. Following pressure from around the world, in 2007, a public inquest was ordered into the death of Woolmer.
During this inquest, Coroner Patrick Murphhy asked for further tests to be taken from Woolmer samples because the previous toxicology reports contradicted each other. The results of these new tests were inconclusive and did not support either of the police theories. Unfortunately a new autopsy could not be done because Woolmer’s body has been cremated. After 26 days of evidence, it was found that there was insufficient evidence to back either of the police statements made in March and June 2007. The inquest therefore returned an “open verdict” refusing to rule out murder.
In an interview with Fox News, former South African cricketer, Clive Rice claimed that Woolmer was murdered by organised crime groups, saying: “these mafia betting syndicates do not stop at anything and they do not care who gets in their way. I have no doubt whatsoever that he was murdered. Around the time of Woolmer’s death, there were occasions when the entire Pakistan cricket team were caught out. All dismissals in an innings caught. What are the odds. It has happened very rarely in this game.”
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has also gone on record stating that “he doubts that he died of natural causes” and speculated Woolmer may have been about to reveal “some misgivings”.
There are interesting facts surrounding this case: Woolmer was writing a book cricket; he was the coach of the South African cricket team when their captain Hanse Cronje was revealed to have been accepting money to fix matches; Clive Rice also believes Cronje was murdered. In 2007 it was also reported that 3 Pakistan team members had been taken off a plane prior to its departure and that there were the assumed main suspects – Inzimmam ul Haq, the captain; Talat Ali, the coach, and Mushatq Ahmed, the assistant coach. All three were detained for questioning over supposed ambiguities in their statements.
The police were suspicious as to why Mushatq had scratch marks on his face and why Talat had changed the name of his hotel booking to another fictitious name. The police also wanted to know about the argument over religion in the coach after the match between Inzimam and Woolmer. Although the police released them, they were all asked to come to the public inquiry along with P J Mir, the then Pakistan cricket team manager. All refused to testify.
London-based businessman Abdul Sattar – an apparent ‘friend’ of the Pakistan cricket team who had also been staying at the Pegasus Hotel during the world cup of 2007 – had also been asked to give testimony but he declined. Given that the public inquest where questioning Sattar’s links to match fixing it was surprising that he did not want to testify and clear his name.
Now just prior to the tour of England, new evidence has emerged which re-opens the “murder theory” and for various strong reasons. Sattar is alleged to have told friends earlier this year that “he got away with it”…”nobody ever got to find out what Woolmer eat prior to his death”. It is true that nobody knows what Woolmer ate prior to his death. Investigations establish that Sattar socialised with all the Pakistani cricket team and in particular with Mohammad Asif (jailed for spot fixing), Waqar Younis and Inzimam Ul Haq. Sattar hosted Pakistani cricket stars at his night life venues. Its understood that Inzimam didn’t attend these alcoholic venues but all others did. Sattar also took Pakistan cricket team members to various casinos in London and paid for their funs.
Sattar did not publicly hide his close relations to the Pakistan team and this was to bolster his reputation as the “spot fixer” and “match fixer” for the Pakistan matches. Given the cash rich nature of his nighclub and mujra business, Sattar is also not a stranger in the money laundering sector. We have uncovered he was friends with Nasa Khan, a Pakistan based millionaire who was jailed for 9 years for money laundering. Nasa Khan is also the x husband of tv star Laila Rouass. Sattar is also a close long term friend of Jim Chowdary, who used to be the chief of staff of Musharraf but now they have fallen out.
Courtesy : Sadia khan