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Under scanner: Deal between Mirchi’s son and Bhushan Steel

Sources told The Indian Express that in 2010, Sur Buildcon Pvt Ltd (now Globus Realinfra Pvt Ltd) issued a draft of about Rs 19 crore in favour of Junaid Iqbal Memon, which was later cancelled.

Humayun Merchant, an alleged aide of Iqbal Mirchi, has been held. (Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

A Delhi-based firm set up by Brij Bhushan Singal and Neeraj Singal, the arrested promoters of Bhushan Steel Ltd, had financial transactions with Junaid Iqbal Memon, son of Iqbal Mohammed Memon, alias Iqbal Mirchi, a close aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, agencies probing Iqbal Mirchi have found.

Sources told The Indian Express that in 2010, Sur Buildcon Pvt Ltd (now Globus Realinfra Pvt Ltd) issued a draft of about Rs 19 crore in favour of Junaid Iqbal Memon, which was later cancelled. The Enforcement Directorate is examining the nature of transaction between Junaid Memon and Globus Realinfra to see if the money was paid to Mirchi’s son in cash through hawala, said sources.

Earlier this year, both the promoters of Bhushan Steel Brij Bhushan Singal and Neeraj Singal were arrested by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).

The SFIO has alleged that the Singals used illegal means to receive bank loans to the tune of Rs 45,800 crore between 2013 and 2017. Bhushan Steel owed Rs 56000 crore to a clutch of banks and creditors in India. It has now been acquired by Tata Steel for Rs 35,232.58 crore through the insolvency process.

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Earlier this year, both the promoters of Bhushan Steel Brij Bhushan Singal and Neeraj Singal were arrested by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).

The SFIO report has found that in 2011-12, Bhushan Steel sold one of its foreign subsidiaries, Bhushan Steel Global FZE in Dubai, to an associate firm Globus Realinfra and changed the name of Bhushan Steel Global FZE to Shree Global Steel FZE.

The SFIO report said that as a result of this transfer, “profit earned” by Shree Global was “kept by the promoters (of Bhushan Steel) in their hands”. The SFIO also found that Globus Realinfra employed “dummy directors” and the actual control of the company was with Neeraj Singal.

According to records, Globus Realinfra is in the business of real estate and has immovable assets of around Rs 41 crore.

The SFIO probe report said that Globus borrowed around Rs 70 crore from a private bank by mortgaging 4 acres in Delhi and on a personal guarantee of Neeraj Singal and invested about Rs 65 crore of the borrowed money in Bhushan Steel. Globus Realinfra booked a loss of around Rs 5.29 crore in fiscal 2018.

The SFIO probe found that funds were siphoned off from Bhushan Steel through a web of 157 companies directly or indirectly controlled by the Singals.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is currently probing the alleged land deals of Mirchi and his family in India.
The ED has alleged that NCP Leader and former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel’s Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd constructed Ceejay House in 2006-07 and its third and fourth floor were transferred to Mirchi wife Hazra Iqbal in 2007 “towards beneficial interest of Mirchi in the land” on which Ceejay House was built.

The ED alleged that the sale of the land to Millennium Developers is “through dubious means” and the sale proceeds have been “laundered” by Mirchi. Patel has been questioned by ED and he has denied any wrongdoing and claimed that all dealings pertaining to the property were undertaken under the supervision of the Bombay High Court-appointed Court Receiver.

The agency is also looking into the sale of three properties of Mirchi in Worli — Rabia Mansion, Marium Lodge and Sea View in 2010 to a Mumbai-based real estate firm — Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Ltd, for Rs 225 crore.

The ED has alleged that out of this at least Rs 190 crore was paid to Mirchi through hawala. The ED also raided Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) for its loans to Sunblink. Sunblink is run by Sunny Bathija, brother-in law of Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoter of DHFL.

Also Read | ED attaches assets over Rs 4,000 crore of Bhushan Steel in bank fraud case

On Tuesday, the agency arrested Humayun Merchant, an aide of Mirchi, who allegedly played a crucial role in negotiating on behalf of Mirchi with Sunblink Real Estate.

Responding to The Indian Express, Global Realinfra sent an email statement: “Sur Buildcon (Globus Realinfra) never had any transaction with Junaid Iqbal. Sur Buildcon was contemplating to buy a property on 4th floor of C J House, Worli, Mumbai for which M/s. Kathlawala, Bombay based lawyers were engaged for carrying out due diligence.

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However the due diligence report did not come to be favourable therefore the purchase of property was never made. With respect to the DD (demand draft) of Rs 19 crore, it was prepared on request of their lawyers as an expression of financial strength, however, when the due diligence did not turn out favourable the DD was cancelled and no agreement/transaction was made.”