The ED had a registered money-laundering case against Kaskar and two of his aides on September 26 following Thane police’s extortion cases.
Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated a detailed investigation into the benami assets of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Iqbal Kaskar. The central agency’s move comes almost a month after it registered a money-laundering case against Iqbal and two of his aides, who are facing probes by Thane police into their alleged extortion activities.
Sources in the ED said there is a strong suspicion that the accused acted at the behest of Dawood and extorted from several businessmen and property developers. The extortion money was then allegedly used to buy benami assets in Mumbai, which are in the process of getting verified. Part of the extorted money is believed to have been laundered either within or outside India. The investigators have leads into the alleged investments in benami assets in Mumbai and its surrounding areas. ED officials said there seems to be more than what has come to the fore.
The ED had a registered money-laundering case against Kaskar and two of his aides on September 26 following Thane police’s extortion cases. The Thane police has registered three separate cases of extortion, naming Kaskar in all, and Dawood, his brother Anees Ibrahim and close aide Chhota Shakeel in the third case.
“There seems to be a string of benami properties bought by the D gang in the name of close relatives and family members of Dawood with Kaskar’s help. Hence, we are gathering details of Kaskar’s activities since 2007, when he was released from prison,” said an ED officer.
The officials revealed that the ambit of the investigation would include not just the fugitive gangster and his arrested brother, but also their old and current henchmen. There is however no clarity on the identities of the persons in whose name the investments have been made, they said. “The probe into the money (extortion) trail will help us in ascertaining the identities and other details,” added the ED officer.
Meanwhile, following the money laundering case against Kaskar and two of his aides Asrarali Sayyad and Mumtaj Shaikh, the ED has also recorded statements of the two victim property developers. The detailed statements reveal how Kaskar targeted them in the name of Dawood and managed to extort four residential flats in a plush tower at Thane’s Ghodbunder Road as well as cash of Rs 30 lakh.
Shaikh had occupied one of the four flats, when the Thane police’s anti-extortion cell (AEC) registered a case against the trio. All the three accused are in judicial custody and are currently lodged in Thane Central Prison.