The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik in connection with the money laundering case against underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.
Stepping out of the ED office after questioning, Malik told reporters “Ladenge, jeetenge, sab ko expose karenge. (Will fight, win and expose everyone)”. He was taken to J J Hospital for a medical checkup, following which he was brought to a special court. Malik’s lawyers have sought time to speak to him.
Nawab Malik was picked up from his house by the probe agency at 7 am on Wednesday for interrogation.
The Enforcement Directorate is looking into a Kurla property deal of Malik, among others. It is probing an Rs 80 lakh payment by Nawab Malik to Haseena Parkar, sister of Dawood Ibrahim, to acquire a 3-acre land in Kurla. Out of this Rs 80 lakh, around Rs 25 lakh was paid through cheque and Rs 55 lakh in cash.
Meanwhile, workers of the Nationalist Congress Party have been gathering outside the ED office at Ballard Pier in South Mumbai and shouting slogans against the arrest of their leader.
Security has been beefed up outside the Mumbai sessions court, where Malik will be produced by the ED seeking his remand.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has called Malik’s questioning an attempt to harass those who speak against the misuse of central agencies. “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,” Pawar added.
Malik’s name first cropped up in intelligence inputs gathered by the agency while investigating the hawala case, said sources. The ED has been probing a money laundering case against Ibrahim, Iqbal Mirchi, Chhota Shakeel, Parkar and Javed Chikna after it found several hawala transactions linked to money illegally obtained through extortion, drug trafficking, sale of real estate in Nagpada and Bhendi Bazaar area of Mumbai, and other unlawful activities.
The agency has already searched 10 premises in Mumbai, including residences of Kaskar, Salim Fruit, brother-in-law of Chhota Shakeel, and the son of Ibrahim’s sister Haseena Parkar, among others in connection with its probe. It has also questioned Gangster Chhota Shakeel’s brother-in-law Salim Fruit, Kaskar and Parkar’s son in this case.
The ED money laundering case against Ibrahim and his aides is based on the fresh case filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier this month against the D Company under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Ibrahim and several of his associates have been named by the NIA along with their roles in terror activities, including hawala transactions, against India.
State NCP President Jayant Patil said that the ED flouted the rules by picking up Malik early morning without giving any prior notice. “This is yet another instance of misuse of power. No notice was given to him. The ED, by picking up a minister of a state (MoS) early in the morning without giving any prior notice, has flouted all the laid down rules,” said Patil.
“Nawab Malik had, in the past, exposed the misdoings of certain people. What has happened today is an attempt to entrap him. We do not know why he has been picked up. This incident is an attempt to deliberately target Malik for the work he has done in the past which has angered some people,” he added.
Malik has been in news recently for tweeting against Sameer Wankhede, former zonal head of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), who booked a drug case against the son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, Aryan Khan.