Updated: July 14, 2021 8:02:04 pm
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken possession of two floors of Worli’s Ceejay House in connection with a money laundering case involving Iqbal Mohammed Memon aka Iqbal Mirchi, a close aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
Sources said the ED, which is probing the alleged land deals of Mirchi and his family in India, took possession of the third and fourth floors, valued at Rs 96 crore, of the building on July 9.
The ED has alleged that NCP leader and former aviation minister Praful Patel’s Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd constructed the Ceejay House in 2006-07, and its third and fourth floors were transferred to Mirchi’s wife Hazra Iqbal in 2007 “towards the beneficial interest of Mirchi in the land” on which structure was built.
The ED has also alleged that the sale of the land to Millennium Developers was “through dubious means” and the proceeds have been “laundered” by Mirchi. In October 2019, when Patel was questioned by the ED, the NCP leader had denied wrongdoing and claimed all dealings, pertaining to the property, were undertaken under the supervision of the Bombay High Court-appointed court receiver.
The ED has claimed there are properties to the tune of Rs 200 crore belonging to Mirchi, which allegedly are proceeds of crime, derived from direct or indirect criminal activity by Memon including extortion and smuggling over 30 years ago before he fled the country.
In December 2019, the ED had provisionally attached these properties. Subsequently, in May 2021, the adjudicating authority under PMLA confirmed the attachments. In its order, the authority said, “There is considerable evidence regarding obtaining/deriving of proceeds of crime and having being utilised and laundered by the defendants (Mirchi and his family).”
So far, the ED has provisionally attached assets to the tune of Rs 798 crore in India and abroad under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency has also arrested a member of a trust which had allegedly sold the properties, brokers who were part of the deal, and Kapil Wadhawan, the promoter of Dewan Housing Finance Limited, in connection with the case. It has also moved an application in the court to declare Hazra and her sons as fugitive economic offenders.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.