Fugitive terror-don Dawood’s ‘benami’ properties to go under hammer today

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Mumbai, Jan. 5 (IANS) Four ‘benami’ properties belonging to the absconding terrorist-don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar at Mumbake village in Ratnagiri district – where he and his family spent their early childhood – shall go under the auctioneer’s hammer on Friday afternoon, officials said.

The auction of these seized agricultural properties is slated in Mumbai under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act (SAFEMA) under the Ministry of Finance, New Delhi, the NDPS Act, 1985 and the Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act, 1998. (IANS – Dec. 22, 2023).

The properties measure a total of 21,275 sq.metres where Dawood, 67, and his siblings spent their early childhood before coming to Mumbai in the late 1970s.

They are: two farmhouse plots measuring 10,420.5 sq.metres (reserve price Rs 9.4 lakh) and 8,953 sq.metres (Rs 8 lakh), plus two small plots of around 171 sq.metres (Rs 15,440) and 1,730 sq.metres (Rs 1.5 lakh).

Today’s much-watched auction will be held in 3 modes – e-auction, public auction or sealed tenders – simultaneously.

The government has kept a total reserve price of around Rs 19 lakh for all the properties which are categorised as ‘agricultural land’, currently abandoned and overgrown, with a dilapidated structure standing on one of the plots.

The e-auction conditions stipulate that the properties will be sold on “as is where is” and “as is what is” basis, and it would be the responsibility of the successful bidder to get the property/properties transferred/registered in his/her name.

As per available information on government records, the properties are free of any encumbrances, but the government has advised the prospective bidders to make their own independent inquiries pertaining to any encumbrances, the title, approved plans, etc.

The notice by the Competent Authority, Surabhi Sharma’s office said it shall not be responsible in any manner for any third-party claims/rights to these properties, and said that any bids should be made only after inspection and due diligence on all matters before bidding for them.

In the past 10 years, the government has auctioned at least 11 properties belonging to Dawood or his kin in Mumbai and other parts of the state.

The auctioned properties include: Hotel Raunak Afroz, Shabnam Guest House and six rooms in Damarwala building in Nagpada which earned around Rs 11 crore in 2017.

In November 2020, Dawood’s childhood home along with five other properties in Mumbake village were auctioned, but another plot in Lote village remained unsold owing to certain technical issues.

Meanwhile, since the past few days prior to the auction, many locals and some outsiders were seen going around the property, one of plots protected by a boundary wall with the symbol of a Crescent Moon and Star engraved on the concrete wall, and thick overgrowth inside the plot.

Currently holed up in Karachi, Dawood – most wanted in India for several crime and terror attacks, including the March 12, 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case – was in the news in December 2023 after local reports surfaced claiming he was allegedly poisoned and battling for life in hospital.

However, members of the dreaded D-Company denied these reports as “fake” and said Dawood was absolutely fit and fine.




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