NIA Recorded Statement Of Actor Firoz Khan In Extortion Case Of Salim Fruit Close Aide Of Dawood Ibrahim

NIA Recorded Statement Of Actor Firoz Khan In Extortion Case Of Salim Fruit Close Aide Of Dawood Ibrahim

Mumbai – Indradev Pandey

Actor Firoz Khan, best known for his role as warrior prince Arjuna in BR Chopra’s mega serial Mahabharat, is a star witness of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the terror funding and hawala transactions case against designated global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

The NIA had recorded the statement of Mr Khan in August 2022 under section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), testifying against Dawood’s aide Salim Qureshi alias Salim Fruit for threats and extortion.

Mr Khan became popular with the 1988 epic Mahabharat and later acted in Hindi films like Qayamat Se Qyamat Tak, Jigar, Phool Aur Angaar, Tirangaa, Mehendi, Aa Gale Lag Jaa, Karan Arjun, to name a few.

A resident of Turner Road, Bandra, the 68-year-old actor, while shooting for Mahabharat, had loaned money to one BV Balagiri on several occasions and got duly repaid. Mr Khan later extended a bigger loan of Rs35 lakh to Mr Balagiri which was never returned.

Much later, in 2017, Mr Khan was introduced to Chhota Shakeel’s brother-in-law Salim Fruit in 2017 by builder Salim Bapoti. The builder invited the actor to the opening of Salim Fruit’s medical store near JJ Hospital in south Mumbai. The gangster had asked the actor to draft a speech for a citizen award to be conferred by an NGO.

According to the actor, Salim Fruit frequently summoned several people to his medical store to settle business disputes. He threatened Mr Khan to forgo the loan of Rs35 lakh given to Mr Balagiri. Salim Fruit said that hotelier and builder Sudhakar Shetty had intervened on behalf of Mr Balagiri to forget the outstanding loan. Mr Shetty is named in the CBI FIR in the DHFL scam of cheating a consortium of 17 banks to the tune of Rs34,615 crore. The actor, fearing Salim Fruit’s underworld links, did not file any police complaint at that time.

His statement was recorded by NIA Inspector Shashikant Singh. A total 55 witness statements have been recorded by the agency in the case against Salim Fruit for terror funding on the instructions of Dawood Ibrahim.

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