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Explained: The case in which ED has arrested NCP’s Nawab Malik

The Maharashtra minister has been arrested for alleged money-laundering and involvement in terror funding. What is the ED’s case against him, and what links with the underworld has it accused him of?

Nawab Malik arrested, Nawab Malik ED arrest, Nawab Malik case ED, what is the case against Nawab Malik, Nawab Malik Dawood links, indian express, express explainedMaharashtra Minister Nawab Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday. (Express Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on charges of money-laundering and “active involvement in terror funding”.

What are the charges against Malik?

The ED is investigating Malik for a property deal that he entered into with Haseena Parkar, sister of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. There are allegations that Malik bought this property — 3 acres of land at Goawala Compound on LBS Marg in Kurla, Mumbai — for Rs 85 lakh, of which Rs 30 lakh was shown in sale agreement and the rest was paid in cash. The ED has alleged that the registered value of the property was much lower than the prevailing market rate.

According to the ED, Parkar transferred her interest in the property held through Salim Patel for the beneficial interest of Malik in 2005. The ED has claimed that Sardar Shahwali Khan, who has underworld links, played an important role in the sale.

According to the ED’s remand application in  the court, the land was originally owned by Munira Plumber and was “usurped” from her by Parkar and her frontman, Mohammed Salim Ishaq Khan alias Salim Patel, who too has underworld links, through a forged power of attorney (POA) in the name of Patel. The document gave Patel the rights to sell Plumber’s land.

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Plumber has told the ED she had never approached Malik for the sale and got to know about it only last year, through media reports. The ED has alleged that the total value of the land in the sale agreement is Rs 30 lakh. The agency said Malik introduced “fake tenants” for lowering the registry value of the land.

Nawab Malik arrested, Nawab Malik ED arrest, Nawab Malik case ED, what is the case against Nawab Malik, Nawab Malik Dawood links, indian express, express explained NCP workers gathered outside the ED office at Ballard Pier in South Mumbai and shouted slogans against the arrest of their leader. (Express Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)

Who are these two men linked with the underworld?

Shahawali Khan is serving a life term in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. He is said to have been part of the team given firearms training by alleged mastermind Tiger Memon and to have done a recce of the Bombay Stock Exchange and BMC to decide where the bombs should be placed. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment in June 2007 and is currently in Aurangabad jail. The property deal took place in September 2005.

The other man linked to the underworld, Salim Patel, was the bodyguard and driver of Parkar.

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What is Malik’s defence?

Senior counsel Amit Desai, who is representing Malik, said there is no connection shown between Malik and the “gang” (Dawood gang) in the remand application. Desai said a property transaction dating back to 1999, when the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002) was not even in force, is being used to create an impression that an elected representative of Maharashtra is involved in anti-national activities.

Desai said Malik is himself a victim since a person who did not possess title to the property had sold it to him. “Ms Plumber claims misuse of her power of attorney by Patel. Where is Mr Malik in this?” said Desai.

Earlier too, when former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had alleged that Malik had bought the land from people connected with the underworld, the NCP minister had denied the charges. Malik had said the Kurla land held a godown that his company Solidus Investments Pvt Ltd had leased from Plumber. “She approached us and said that she wanted to sell the land to us. We took ownership of the land and got the registration done through one Salim Patel, who had the power of attorney.”

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On Fadnavis’s claims about Shahawali Khan, Malik had said: “Khan’s father was a watchman at this compound and the family had managed to get their names on the property records staking claim to 300 metres of land. When we came to know about it, we paid them money to surrender their rights.”

What is Solidus Investments, and what is its link with Malik?

Solidus Investments Pvt Ltd is a company set up in 1973. Malik’s son Aamir Nawab Malik and wife Mehjbeen Nawab Malik are listed as its two directors.

According to the ED’s remand application, Solidus Investments, owned by Kanubhai M Patel until 2002-03, was one of the tenants at Plumber’s Kurla property. Malik, who was then Maharashtra’s revenue minister, approached Patel to sell the tenancy rights held by his company for rehabilitation of 360 families who would be affected by a proposed road project. According to the ED, Patel agreed to sell Solidus to Nawab Malik for Re 1 in a philanthropic gesture. Subsequently, Malik’s family became the owners of Solidus and had entry to the property as a tenant. Malik was on the Solidus board until he became a cabinet minister in the present government in 2019.

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First published on: 23-02-2022 at 04:40:48 pm
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