Nawab Malik, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Minister, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (E.D.) on February 23. The arrest was in connection with a money laundering case that was linked to Dawood Ibrahim and his associates in the underworld that the E.D. had been pursuing.
Devendra Fadnavis, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of the Opposition, had earlier alleged that Malik had purchased a property belonging to Dawood Ibrahim’s aides at a lower than market rate price in 2005. The deal, Fadnavis said, proved that Malik had underworld links.
The aide in question is Sardar Shahwali Khan who had been sentenced by the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court in 2007 for involvement in the 1993 bomb blasts case in Mumbai. The other seller involved in the property deal is one Mohammed Salim Patel, who is believed to have worked for Dawood Ibrahim’s late sister Haseena Parkar as her bodyguard and driver. The two were arrested in 2007 in a case related to grabbing land.
According Fadnavis, the property in question has an area of more than two acres in the central Mumbai suburb of Kurla. It was purchased by a company called Solidus Investments Pvt Ltd. The company was set up in 1973 by the Maliks. Two listed directors are Malik’s son Aamir and his wife Mehjbeen. Solidus apparently paid Rs.30 lakh for the Kurla property, which was a pittance for the area and the size of the property. Market rates in the area at the time were about Rs.8,500 per sq m. Nawab Malik’s direct link to the property was proved by the signatory on the deal, which was Faraz Malik, his son. Fadnavis further said that Nawab Malik was involved with the company until 2019, and that he resigned on becoming a Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Nawab Malik has steadfastly denied these charges, saying his deal was above board.