NCP leader Nawab Malik, who is a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, has been arrested by the ED (Enforcement Directorate) in connection with the money laundering case against Dawood Ibrahim and his associates. Sources indicated that Malik’s name came up in the hawala case when intelligence agencies were gathering information regarding the same.
The arrest order signed by Niraj Kumar, Assistant Director, ED Mumbai Zone I, states that the MVA minister has been found guilty under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The agency had picked him up at 7 in the morning from his residence.
The agency is probing the 80 lakhs rupees, of which 55 lakhs was given in cash, paid to Dawood Ibrahim’s sister Haseena Parkar by Malik to acquire a 3-acre land in Kurla. As per the allegations leveled by the ED, the land in question was acquired by Parkar using a forged power of attorney document. One Munira Plumber has been identified as the owner of the land and all the powers to sell the land were vested in Salim Patel, Parkar’s driver, in the forged document.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar as expected brought up the misuse of central agencies and ‘harassment of a Muslim’ argument. “Nawab Malik has been very outspoken and we were sure that some issue will be raked up by them to trouble him. If there is a Muslim activist who is their opponent, it is their habit to link his name to Dawood. When I was the CM of Maharashtra, they had tried to link my name with Dawood as well. This is an attempt to harass those who are speaking against the misuse of central agencies”, he has been quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
The agency has been investigating a money laundering case involving Ibrahim, Iqbal Mirchi, Chhota Shakeel, Parkar, and Javed Chikna. Its probe revealed that money had been illegally obtained through illegal activities including extortion, drug trafficking, sale of real estate in Mumbai’s Nagpada and Bhendi Bazaar areas. It is while gathering inputs in relation to this case that Malik’s name came up.
In the meanwhile, alliance partner Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has threatened to ‘take care’ of each and every ED officer.
In November last year, Leader of Opposition BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had brought to light Nawab Malik’s land deal with Dawood’s men. Releasing documents of the 16-year-old deal before the media, Fadnavis said that a company connected with Malik, Solidus Investments Pvt. Ltd. (SIPL), completed the land transaction in Kurla with M. Salim Ishaq Patel and Sardar Shahvali Khan, both close aides of Dawood and the latter a convict sentenced to life imprisonment in the March 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts.
Demanding a probe by a competent state or central authority, Fadnavis, the former Maharashtra Chief Minister, said the prime land worth several crores of rupees on LBS Marg in Kurla, was bought by the Malik-linked SIPL, signed by his son Faraz Malik, for barely Rs 30 lakh.
(Featured Image Source: ANI)