MUMBAI — Fugitive mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar's three prime properties in south Mumbai finally found a buyer Nov. 14 – the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust, 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," an SBUT spokesperson told IANS.
The properties to be acquired by SBUT include a restaurant, Hotel Raunaq Afroz – also known as Delhi Zaika – the two-story Shabnam Guest House and six tenements in the Damarwala Building.
The properties all fell within a one-kilometer radius in the congested Bhendi Bazar area and 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 three times in the past, including an 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, 1976, the final winning bids approved Nov. 14 are: Rs. 4.53 crore for Hotel Raunaq Afroz, Rs. 3 crore for the Shabnam Guest House and Rs. 3.53 crore for the six rooms in the Damarwala Building.
The total reserve price of the three properties was Rs. 3.95 crore and SBUT has acquired them for nearly three times 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 will be completed within a few weeks, the SAFEMA official said.
This was the second Dawood property auction the Ministry of Finance – under which SAFEMA functions – had organized in the past two years and it was announced in 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, as a precaution to deter trouble-makers and non-serious bidders, the caution money for submitting bid was hiked by over six times the original amount to Rs. 100,000 for the three properties against threat of forfeiture if any bidder caused trouble at the auction.