Dawood's Mumbai properties auctioned

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Dawood's Mumbai properties auctioned
Image Courtesy : indiatoday.intoday

Mumbai : Fugitive mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar's three prime properties in south Mumbai finally found a buyer on Tuesday -- the Saifee Burhani Uphliftment Trust (SBUT), run by the Dawoodi Bohra community, an official said here.

"Yes. We submitted bids and have won the auction for the three properties which fall within the redevelopment jurisdiction of the SBUT. We shall now complete the remaining formalities," a SBUT spokesperson told IANS.

The properties to be acquired by SBUT include a restaurant, Hotel Raunaq Afroz, also known as Delhi Zaika, a two-storey Shabnam Guest House and six tenements in the Damarwala Building.

All the properties falling within one kilometre radius in the congested Bhendi Bazar area were owned by Dawood and other Kaskar family members.

They were taken over by the government after the March 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts and were put on the auction block at least thrice in the past, including the last unsuccessful attempt two years ago.

"These buildings are in a dilapidated condition and unfit for living. Therefore, to ensure safety of the families living there and to carry on with the redevelopment project, we participated in the bidding and acquired these properties," the SBUT spokesperson added.

According to an official source in the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, (SAFEMA)1976, the final winning bids approved on Tuesday are: Rs 4.53 crore for Hotel Raunaq Afroz, Rs 3 crore for Shabnam Guest House and Rs 3.53 crore for the six rooms in Damarwala Building.

The total reserve price of these three properties was Rs 3.95 crore and SBUT has acquired them for nearly thrice the (reserve) amount, at Rs 11.06 crore.

The Trust will be required to pay SAFEMA the total amount and thereafter the formalities of handing over possession shall be completed within a few weeks, the SAFEMA official said.

This was the second auction of the properties organised by the Ministry of Finance - under which SAFEMA functions - in the past two years, vide public advertisements issued in mid-October.

However, none of the properties could be auctioned off in past due to fear of reprisals from the fugitive don, who now lives in Pakistan, as per the latest revelations by his sibling Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar, who was arrested in September in extortion cases.

This time round, as a precaution to keep away mischief-mongers and non-serious bidders, the caution money for submitting bid had been hiked by over six times to Rs 100,000 for the three properties against threat of forfeiture if any bidder created trouble at the auction.