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Rs 2.5K cr waqf scam: Involvement of underworld, cops & builders shows malaise much deeper

Four months ago, DNA got a lead that the Vigilance Department of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accessed a phone conversation between a member of a Dubai-based underworld mafia and its ringleader in Mumbai.

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Rs 2.5K cr waqf scam: Involvement of underworld, cops & builders shows malaise much deeper
Arif Naseem Khan
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    Four months ago, DNA got a lead that the Vigilance Department of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accessed a phone conversation between a member of a Dubai-based underworld mafia and its ringleader in Mumbai.

    The conversation, which happened sometime in 2014, was about a prime waqf land and how they should grab it with the help of prominent politicians and top police officials.

    A four-page transcript of the conversation accessed by DNA reveals that the malaise is much deeper than the alleged Rs 2,500 crore land deal that led to the suspension of the former CEO of Waqf properties on Friday.

    ED sources disclosed that it was a “chance” intercept during their investigation into a hawala case. The Congress-led government was at the helm in Mumbai.

    A DNA team conducted an investigation to corroborate the transcript. The Waqf Board, however, remained tight-lipped on the pretext that they are carrying their own investigation into many such allegations. In the transcript, two men -- Yusuf and Asif – discuss getting a no-objection certificate (NOC) for a waqf property.

    The conversation is about how much they may have to pay to each stakeholder -- the builder, senior police official Himanshu Roy, Minorities Minister and the Guardian Minister of Mumbai suburbs, during the Congress rule in Maharashtra, Arif Naseem Khan and the Waqf Board.


    A copy of the transcripts of the conversation between Yusuf and Asif

    The transcript is yet to be corroborated. The transcript, however, does warrant a probe into this deal. The conversation about the waqf land went like this:

    Asif: Apne ko 6 crore mil jayenge ismein ..kismein ..builder ne..jo bhi us ne amount mein liya ...apne ko us mein ka 12 ya.. (We will get 6 crore in it.. Wahtever the builder has fixed we will get 12 from it)

    Yusuf: 15 maximum

    Asif : 15 maximum

    Yusuf: 15 mein maximum builder patane ka hai (We have to make the builder on 15)

    Asif: hmm builder patane ka hai (We have to convince the builder)

    Yusuf: us mein se jo bhi bacha sake apna hai (whatever we save would be ours)

    Asif: OK

    Yusuf: one ..number two...five for police and Arif Naseeb Khan...and wakf board. And everything..that also maximum

    Asif: Acha issme woh bhi aayega Himanshu Roy ( Himanshu Roy will also be covered in this)

    Yusuf: Police aur woh ek hi hai, apne ko phir uska kuch alag se nahi dene ka hai ( he and police are one and the same. We don't have to give anything separately)

    The two further discuss the amount to be given to the politician saying he had asked for three but we have convinced him for one. The denominations are not clear if the amount here is in crore or ​lakhs.

    Yusuf: Mere ko lagta hai do aur dhai ke beech mein pat jayega (I feel the deal will close between 2 to 2.5)

    Asif: OK

    Yusuf: Himanshu Roy ek se zayada nahi lega (Himanshu Roy wont take more than one)

    Asif: Pakka (Sure)

    Yusuf: 100% main janta hoon. Lekin do ho gaye panch ke andar pat jayenge (100% I know it. We will manage two within five)

    They further discuss paying amount to one Haroon. Asif then quotes an amount of total 25 and Yusuf commits that he will ensure that he gets the land deal for sure for this amount. The two further discuss if they have to pay more to the builder or more to the police. The duo further discuss when to give the money to each of the stakeholders.

    Yusuf: Investment will not happen till the work is done. Aapko dene ka hai (You have to give)

    Asif: Barabar hai (Right)

    Yusuf: Builder jaise sign kare, idhar Arif Naseeb Khan ko de do udhar Himanshu Roy ko de do. (The moment the builder signs, we will give the amount to Arif and Roy)

    The men then further discuss how they will sell the property and make payments only after the registration of land. The duo again discuss meeting the police cop Himanshu Roy face to face if the need be.

    Asif: Aur agar zaroorat padi to aap uske samne hume bitha bhi denge (And if need be will u take us before us in person)

    Yusuf: kiske Himanshu roy ke? (Who Himanshu Roy?)

    Asif: haan (yeah)

    Yusuf: payment ke time par lekar jaonga aapko (will take you at the time of making payment)

    The two now discuss getting into action and first going to the minister to ensure the notice is issued.

    Yusuf: Main to abhi pehle Aarif Naseeb Khan ko pakdonga ..he is the centre point (I will first go and catch Aarif Khan)

    Asif: Acha this notice will be issued through Wakf Board

    Yusuf: Through him only naa, he is the minister naa

    In the remaining part of the conversation the two repeatedly discuss how to expedite the process and wrap it by within two months,

    When contacted for comments the erstwhile Congress minority minister Khan said “as per the procedure the NOC is issued by the Waqf Board and not the department. Moreover, in my tenure I can vouch not a single NOC was issued. In fact, due to our initiatives in our tenure, we were able to retrieve 600 acres of encroached land.”

    Roy who has not been keeping well, ​refused to talk.

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