Memon’s bungalow to be a guesthouse: officialMarch 1st, 2008 - 6:25 pm ICT by admin
Bhopal, March 1 (IANS) A huge bungalow belonging to Iqbal Mohammed Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi, who is wanted by Indian authorities, is to be converted into a guest house for use by the government, official sources said. According to the sources, the Central Excise and Customs Department took the decision after a company that bought it in an auction could not be traced and no one else was ready to buy it.
The bungalow is located at the posh Shamla Hills.
Iqbal Mirchi is accused of involvement in several criminal cases including the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed some 270 people.
Registered in the name of Mirchi’s wife Hawa Bibi, the bungalow was attached by the excise and customs wing in 2001 under the Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act 1985 and The Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976.
It was auctioned to a Mumbai-based company in March 2007 for Rs.48.5 million.
The large sum, which the company paid in the open auction as against the reserve price of Rs.9.4 million, gave rise to speculation that Mirchi had re-purchased the property.
“The company is untraceable since then,” said an official.
Spread over 8,343 sq feet, the bungalow came into focus in 1999 after the body of Anil Sharma, a sharpshooter working for another underworld don Abu Salem, was found there.
Apparently, Mirchi took the bungalow from an Anglo-Indian lady whose husband worked as a railway contractor in Bhopal.
The department later invited the second bidder but he refused to purchase the bungalow. The department then sought the permission from Central Board of Taxes for re-auctioning.
The department has now dropped the idea of auctioning the bungalow and decided to convert it into a guesthouse for use by officials of the finance ministry and the department.