August 23, 2021 7:45:43 pm
Former civil aviation minister and NCP leader Praful Patel on Monday visited the ED office at Ballard Estate in Mumbai in connection with the alleged money laundering probe involving Iqbal Mohammed Memon, aka Iqbal Mirchi, a close aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
Patel, while leaving the ED office, told reporters that he was called by the agency to sign a few documents as the agency has taken possession of the third and fourth floor of Ceejay House in Mumbai, originally constructed by Patel’s Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd.
Last month, the ED took possession of the two floors valued at Rs 96 crore belonging to the Mirchi family.
The ED has been probing the alleged land deals of the Mirchi family in India. It has alleged that Patel’s Millennium Developers constructed Ceejay House in 2006-07 and its third and fourth floors were transferred to Mirchi’s wife Hazra Iqbal in 2007 “towards beneficial interest of Mirchi in the land” on which Ceejay House was built.
The ED has alleged that the sale of the land to Millennium Developers is “through dubious means” and the sale proceeds have been “laundered” by Mirchi.
In October 2019, Patel was questioned by ED. Patel has denied wrongdoing and claimed that all dealings pertaining to the property were undertaken under the supervision of the Bombay High Court-appointed Court Receiver.
ED has claimed that 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.
So far, the agency has provisionally attached assets to the tune of Rs 798 crore in India and abroad under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had also arrested a member of a trust which had allegedly sold the properties, brokers who were part of the deal as well as the promoter of Dewan Housing Finance Limited, Kapil Wadhawan.
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