Nawab Malik said buying land in Goawala compound to serve ‘national interest’: Witness tells ED

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A former employee of a company taken over by Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik said took over the company- Solidus Investment Pvt. Ltd, from the original owner by showing that he was working in the national interest.

On December 20, 2021, in a statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), T N Sheshadri Iyenger said that is how the Nationalist Congress Party leader got entry into the Goawala compound premises.

The ED remand report had said that the money paid by Malik for the property was used for funding Dawood’s terrorist activities.

Malik is currently behind bars after getting arrested for a money laundering case registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

READ | Nawab Malik paid Rs 55 lakh to Dawood Ibrahim’s sister for usurped land, says ED

WITNESS STATEMENT

Iyengar worked as the manager or personal assistant of Kanubhai Patel. Kanubhai was the original owner of Solidus Investment, which was taken over by Malik.

Iyengar in his statement said that Malik Mohammed Islam, Nawab Malik’s father, had come to their office from UP to meet Kanubhai. Nawab Malik’s father knew Kanubhai for over two decades. Malik Islam sought Kanubhai’s support for his son, Nawab Malik.

According to Iyengar, Malik Islam wanted Kanubhai to understand the need for his premises which was lying unused. He said that it might help Nawab Malik and even requested him to meet his son.

Kanubhai agreed to help Nawab Malik because of Islam Malik’s long business relationship with him. According to Iyengar, in 2002-03, Malik was already a minister in the Maharashtra government.

Kanubhai sent Iyengar along with the rent collector of the building where the office of Solidus was based to meet Nawab Malik at mantralay and understand his needs.

READ | Nawab Malik illegally occupied Mumbai shop in 1992: Co-accused to Enforcement Directorate

In mantralay, Iyengar’s meeting with Nawab Malik lasted for 30 minutes where Malik explained to him about his proposed public service to the poor people of Kurla living in hutments.

Nawab Malik also tried to explain to him that his plan for the government proposal was to build the new highway / flyover to connect the Western suburb with the Eastern suburb and to connect the newly made railway station, Lokmanya Tilak Terminal (Kurla), with the same.

Nawab Malik also said that for this project, the major hindrances were the hutments of about 360 families living in the layout area of the proposed flyover project, that these families would need to be shifted to alternative accommodation, that for which, he needed the said warehouse premises for making the alternate accommodation.

Nawab Malik requested Iyengar to help him in the name of national interest as he was planning to give the warehouses premises to the government at Rs 1 per annum for a few years on lease till the flyover was made.

Additionally, he said he will arrange to build SRA project of houses on the remaining government land near the proposed flyover where these hutment dwellers of about 360 families would be reallotted permanent houses through the proposed scheme.

READ | Evidence suggests Nawab Malik conspired with D-Company members to usurp Kurla property, says court

He said that after the resettlement of these hutments, he was planning to use this premises for his kids and brother’s family business.

Iyenger was impressed by Malik’s proposal and had a keen interest in philanthropy, but he explained to Malik the fact that Kanubhai was only a tenant and the warehouse owner was someone else and, without the owner’s permission and approval, the deal could not go forward.

Nawab Malik told him that since he knew the landlord and so he would be able to succeed in getting complete ownership and the approval from the landlord, it would not be a problem for him.

When Iyengar told Kanubhai about his conversation, Kanubhai was also impressed and decided to help Nawab Malik. Kanubhai intimated the rent collector of the Goawala compound, Rehaman Khan, and started the procedure to sell his company, Solidus Investment Pvt. Ltd. from their shareholding to Nawab Malik’s family members.

Iyengar said that he believed that the company was taken over by Nawab Malik’s family members for Rs 10 lakhs (approx), being the goodwill price of the company though it had been incurring losses for the past few years. He said the income of the company had been about Rs 20 lakhs.

READ | Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik to remain in jail till April 4

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