The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday approached the special court seeking to declare three family members of deceased gangster Iqbal Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi as “fugitive economic offenders” in connection with a money laundering probe.
An application was moved under the Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act, 2018, seeking to declare Memon’s sons Junaid and Asif as well as his wife Hajra as fugitive economic offenders.
It also sought that 15 of their properties in India and six bank accounts with a balance of Rs 1.9 crore be confiscated. The properties owned by the three included two floors of Ceejay House at Worli in Mumbai, valued approximately at Rs 96 crore.
Junaid, Asif and Hajra have been named as accused in a money laundering probe case pertaining to properties worth Rs 200 crore belonging to the late gangster, which were alleged to be proceeds of crime derived from direct or indirect criminal activity, including extortion and 30 years of smuggling, before he fled the country.
The ED had arrested a member of a trust that had allegedly sold the properties, brokers who were part of the deal and the promoter of Dewan Housing Finance Limited, Kapil Wadhawan, in the case. The agency had also provisionally attached assets to the tune of Rs 798 crore in the country and overseas under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
In its application, the ED said that non-bailable warrants were issued by the special court against Junaid, Asif and Hajra and they have been evading probe.
An application under the FEO Act is filed under specific provisions formulated to empower the investigating authority to attach and confiscate properties, assets of alleged economic offenders, who have fled the country and are not available for the probe and subsequent criminal prosecution.
The court can pass orders to confiscate properties of such accused after declaring them fugitive economic offenders. Similar orders were passed declaring Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi as fugitive economic offenders since the Act was brought into effect.
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