Arrest of a real estate businessman and Chota Skaeel aide Ajay Ramesh Nawander, 48, has now exposed a deeper nexus which runs internationally. Investigations into the 35000 crore scam has led the agencies to not only money laundering racket but also into an international gold smuggling route which in turn ends up in terror funding and drug trade. CBI is now trying to ascertain if Nawander was a part of a larger racket and his participation in terror funding and drug trade.
Nawandar alias Ajay Jadiya calls himself a “social worker”. He claims to have helped many poor families during the pandemic in 2020. His ‘rags to riches’ story has puzzled many in the social and political circles. He has risen from being a small angadiya (courier) to a multi-billionaire in three decades. As per police records, Nawandar started three clubs for card players in late 1990s. He started developing good relations with influential people. Soon, he established a rapport with the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board (TTDB) in Telangana, and had reportedly arranged for a special darshan for former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at the Tirupati temple in 2013.
Nawandar had also forayed into the Bollywood circles and is known to host events and parties which are attended by known celebrities and politicians of Maharashtra and other states. Booze, women and drugs flow into these parties on behest of Nawandar for his VIP friends. A shiv sena MP who is currently facing rape allegations was a regular face in Nawandar’s parties. Nawandar had flown Mumbai television and OTT actresses by chattered plane to attend his birthday party which was arranged at a farmhouse in Dwarka.
“Last year Nawandar had arranged a party in Delhi especially for government officers. This was his way of staying in the good books of officials also to maintain close contacts with them. He knew that there were investigations going around his underworld links. Iqbal Mirchi is known to pump money to terror outfits and drug mafia. Nawandar was his close aide and actively involved in his operations,” said an officer investigating the case.
Nawandar started off as a courier boy to angadiya’s and then went on to develop his own network. CBI is also investigating the role of various jewellers in the case too. Investigations have revealed that a gold smuggling ring is also a part of this nexus.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on July 13 arrested Ajay Nawandar, an alleged aide of fugitive Dawood Ibrahim’s associate Chhota Shakeel in connection with the Rs 34,615 crore DHFL scam. The CBI is probing the scam in which financial loss was caused by bankrupt home financier DHFL to a consortium of banks led by the Union Bank of India..
The CBI last week carried out searches at Dewan Villa in Mahabaleshwar and recovered a large number of paintings and sculptures, some cash and incriminating documents. The agency said the value of the artworks was estimated to be around Rs 40 crore. According to a CBI statement, “During the investigation, it was found that the promoters [of DFHL] had allegedly diverted funds and made investments in various entities. It was also alleged that the promoters had acquired expensive paintings and sculptures worth about Rs 55 crore using the diverted funds.”