Even though fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim has been declared a global terrorist, authorities are facing “legal hurdles” in seizing his properties in the city, a senior police official said today. “There was a proposal to seize Ibrahim’s properties in an organised manner by the authorities. But, there are some legal hurdles,” he said.
Some of the properties in the city, from where Dawood started his organised crime syndicate, are mired in litigation. Some other properties were auctioned off by the authorities. In case of the auctioned properties, winning bidders have not been able to pay the amount due to lack of funds, the official said.
The comment comes amid reports of seizure of Dawood’s UK-based properties by the British authorities this week. Indian authorities were in talks with their UK counterparts in this regard and had also sent a dossier in 2015 consisting a list of over a dozen properties – houses, flats and hotels – owned by the fugitive gangster.
The Indian government has maintained that the 61-year-old underworld don, a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, is in Pakistan and that the neighbouring nation was creating hurdles in getting him back to face the law here. The UAE government had also reportedly seized Dawood’s assets valued at Rs 15,000 crore.
In 2003, authorities had identified the gangster’s properties in Mumbai and had been trying to auction them off. But, most of them are in the name of relatives or aides, so it is not easy to freeze or attach them, said another official of the Mumbai Police.