The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik in a money-laundering probe linked to the activities of the Mumbai underworld, fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides, officials said.
The 62-year-old NCP leader is stated to have arrived at the Enforcement Directorate office in south Mumbai’s Ballard Estate area around 8 AM and the agency is recording his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they added.
Shiv Sena spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut told reporters that Malik was taken away by the ED from his home.
”…I think this is a challenge to the Maharashtra government…They (central agencies) are free to probe…old issues are being dug out but you should remember that after 2024 you too will be probed,” he said.
The Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the Congress have joined hands to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MCA) government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the state.
Malik’s alleged links in relation to some property deals are said to be under the radar of the federal probe agency and hence his questioning was necessitated.
The minister had been in the news for the last few months after he made a number of personal and service-related allegations of wrongdoing against former Mumbai NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede. These charges came soon after the NCB conducted raids at a cruise in October last year and arrested 20 people including actor Shah Rukh Khan’s Aryan Khan.
Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan was also arrested in a drugs case by the Narcotics Control Bureau’s Mumbai unit last year.
This ED action comes after the registration of a new case and raids conducted by it on February 15 in Mumbai in connection with the operations of the underworld, Ibrahim’s aides, linked alleged illegal property deals and hawala transactions.
The searches were conducted at 10 locations, including premises linked to 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim’s late sister Haseena Parkar, brother Iqbal Kaskar and Salim Qureshi alias Salim Fruit, brother-in-law of gangster Chhota Shakeel.
Kaskar, who was already in jail, has been arrested by the agency last week. It also questioned Salim Qureshi and Parkar’s son. The ED case is based on an FIR filed recently by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Ibrahim and others apart from its independent intelligence. The NIA had filed its criminal complaint under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).