Operation Octopus: Cops probing Atiq’s Gulf investments; 5 U.P. properties to be attached
Ashraf’s brother-in-law, Saddam, visited Dubai a few years back. It is possible that the slain mafiosi brothers may have made some investments there
A specially constituted task force of Prayagraj Police is probing slain mafioso-politician Atiq Ahmed and his younger brother, Khalid Azeem aka Ashraf’s, investments made in Dubai, and elsewhere overseas, under the ongoing Operation Octopus. The task force is also scanning the duo’s properties in Prayagraj and other places across the state and the country.
Police officials say that Ashraf’s brother-in-law, Saddam, visited Dubai a few years back. It is possible that the slain mafiosi brothers may have made some investments there. Police will scan bank records to get clues in this direction.
Meanwhile, the police has identified some more properties of Atiq in Prayagraj, Lucknow and Delhi which will soon be attached under Gangsters’ Act, police officials said.
Police received first clues about Atiq’s overseas investments while questioning his lawyer Khan Saulat Hanif during his four-day police remand, in May this year.
Hanif informed the police that Atiq made investments in Dubai through Saddam. The police has received inputs that Atiq owned a flat in Dubai. However, it could not be ascertained in whose name the flat was purchased.
Police officials received further information about a youth of Kareli area who was close to Saddam and was in import-export business. It was suspected that Saddam made investments in Dubai through the youth. However, as Saddam was on the run at that time police did not pursue investigations into foreign investments and no further clues and evidence were collected in this connection.
After the arrest of Saddam and fresh crackdown against Atiq’s benami empire, under Operation Giraffe and Operation Octopus, the specially constituted task force will once again focus on foreign investments of the brothers.
DCP, city, Deepak Bhuker, said the task force is investigating Atiq and Ashraf’s properties and investments including benami ones. Police will enquire about Saddam’s motive behind going to Dubai as he may have made investments there. The task force will scan bank transactions of Atiq, his kin and close aides to check if cash has been transferred to some foreign bank accounts, he added.
Meanwhile, the task force has identified some properties of Atiq’s wife, Shaista Parveen, who is carrying a reward of ₹50,000 on her arrest. Five of Atiq and Shaista’s properties will soon be attached under Gangsters’ Act.
Police officials said that properties to be attached include Bengal Hotel in Shahganj, a plot near the hotel in the name of Shaista Parveen, Atiq’s benami flat in Lucknow, a house in Noida and two buildings in Okhla area of Delhi. A report is being prepared and further action will be taken as per directions of the court, officials added.
Bhuker said Atiq’s aides were trying to sell their benami properties after the death of the brothers. Police took help of revenue officials and saved Atiq’s benami properties worth around ₹100 crore from being sold. Police forwarded the report about such properties to the revenue department and stopped their sale.