Mumbai : Three properties in south Mumbai that belonged to fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim went under the hammer on Tuesday, and were sold to the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) which has an ongoing redevelopment project in the Bhendi Bazaar area. The properties were auctioned by the Ministry of Finance, under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act (SFEMA).

Senior SAFEMA official P Selvaganesh said, “All the three properties have been sold out to SBUT. There was active participation in every property.”

He added that over 6 to 7 persons were bidding for each property.

The reserve price for the three properties in Bhendi Bazaar – Shabnam Guest House, Damarwala building and a restaurant Raunaq Afroz were Rs 1.21 crore, Rs 1.55 crore and Rs 1.18 crore respectively. The earnest money for the properties were Rs 48.58 lakh, Rs 62.40 and Rs 23.72 lakh respectively.

“While the Raunaq Afroz hotel attracted maximum bid of Rs 4.53 crore, Shabnam Guest House got maximum bid of Rs 3.52 crore and the rooms in the Damarwala building had maximum bid for Rs 3.53 crore,” said a source. SBUT bid the highest and won the auction by collectively bidding Rs 11.58 crore for all the three properties,” the source added.

“The three properties (Shabnam Guest House, Damarwala building and Hotel Raunaq Afroz) fall under our ongoing Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project. These buildings are in dilapidated condition and unfit for living. Therefore, to ensure the safety of the families living in these buildings and to carry on with the redevelopment project, we participated in the bidding and acquired these properties,” said an SBUT spokesperson.

The public auction was held by SAFEMA at Churchgate and almost a dozen bidders had turned up for the auction. Swami Chkarapani, national president of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, who had earlier said the he will acquire Raunaq Afroz in the bidding and will build a public toilet there, failed to pay earnest money for the auction and was later disqualified by the Competent Authority (CA) SAFEMA.

After Dawood fled India in 1990s, properties belonging to him and his associates were seized under the provisions of SAFEMA. The authorities decided to auction these properties in a phased manner. However, past auctions of the gangster’s properties failed to receive much response from bidders.

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