Desperately short of cash to finance his legal battles, alleged underworld don and former MLA Arun Gawli has started selling off his properties across Mumbai.
Crime Branch sources said on condition of anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media that the Gawlis have disposed of at least four properties recently. Several others, they said, have been put on the market.
Gawli is facing a series of cases — from extortion to murder, including that of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandikar.
Gawli was arrested in April 2008 in an extortion case and subsequently booked for Jamsandikar’s murder. Gawli was charged under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and is facing trial in both cases.
Gawli’s daughter Geeta denied that the family has sold any property. “The [murder] trial is about to begin, so my father’s political rivals are spreading such rumours,” she said.
“Daddy Fast Food store near Jacob Circle has been sold off. We have also learnt that a shop at Laxmi Building at Byculla, which was in the name of Gawli’s mother, has been sold too,” said a Crime Branch officer. “Two other properties have also been disposed of.”
The police are trying to ascertain the amount that each of these properties fetched.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy told Hindustan Times: “We received reports that Gawli is selling off his properties. We are verifying the details.”
A Crime Branch officer, who investigated Gawli’s dealings, said the don has run out of money to fight his legal battles. “He is fighting his cases in various courts for which he needs large amounts of money,” the officer said.
Finding himself in a spot, the officer said, Gawli approached the Supreme Court for bail but was turned down.
Crime Branch sources said some of these properties are in Gawli’s name, while others are in the name of his wife Asha or his mother Laxmi. Crime Branch records showed most of these properties were rented out.