Updated: May 28, 2021 10:15:24 pm
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday arrested film financier and builder Yusuf Lakdawala in connection with a Rs 50 crore money laundering case. The case pertains to alleged cheating, forgery and illegal grabbing of land in Khandala in Pune, belonging to the heirs of erstwhile nawab of Hyderabad, Himayat Nawaz Jung Bahadur. A local court has sent Ladkdawala to ED custody till June 2.
The ED said in a statement, “During the money laundering investigation, search was conducted on various premises connected to Yusuf M Lakdawala and various incriminating documents and electronic data were seized. Further investigation revealed that Lakdawala has many dummy or shell companies. On scrutiny of bank accounts of these companies, it was revealed that these companies do not have profitable business, however, transactions of crores of rupees have been made through them. It is also found that funds were layered through these shell companies to hide the original source and the same was utilised to purchase immovable properties of crores of rupees. In order to purchase these properties, commission was given to other accused persons, which was routed through the shell companies of Lakadawala.”
According to ED sources, Lakdawala was brought to its South Mumbai office for questioning on Thursday after he skipped multiple summons issued by the anti-money laundering agency in the case.
The ED has said that Lakdawala spent Rs 11.5 crore to bribe government officials and estate agents to create forged documents showing that the land was bought by his father, MA Lakdawala in 1949 and later gifted to him in 1968. The probe agency also alleged that Lakdawala tried to destroy the original records of the land at the Lonavala revenue office.
The ED case is based on an April 2019 FIR filed by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police against the builder for the alleged grabbing of 4.4 acre of land in Khandala. Subsequently, the police arrested Lakdawala from Ahmedabad airport while he was trying to leave the country. In February, a court granted bail to Lakdawala in the police case.
Earlier in 2010, actor Sadhana had alleged that Lakdawala and his wife threatened to kill her after she refused to vacate a bungalow in Khar in Mumbai. However, Lakdawala was discharged in the case after the death of the actor.
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