Former union minister and NCP leader Praful Patel Tuesday denied any wrongdoing after he received summons from the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering probe into assets owned by a close aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
Patel said his family doesn’t own or maintain any property linked to Ibrahim’s aide Iqbal Mirchi. “We are neither looking after Ceejay property nor in charge of it,” he told reporters in Mumbai.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the ED plans to attach at least 35 properties belonging to the family of Dawood’s close aide, Iqbal Mohammed Memon aka Iqbal Mirchi. The ED claimed that Millennium Developers, a firm run by Patel, transferred two floors in Mumbai’s Ceejay House to Mirchi’s wife Hajra Iqbal in 2007 “towards beneficial interest of Mirchi in the land” on which it was built.
The sale of land to Millennium Developers, the ED claimed, was “through dubious means” and the sale proceeds were “laundered” by Mirchi.
Patel also denied having any connection with Mirchi. “There are speculative views and documents which may have been leaked to media. Obviously, you are in possession of some papers which may have never been brought to my attention,” he told reported in Mumbai.
The NCP also had earlier denied any link between Patel and Iqbal Mirchi. “Praful Patel’s family bought the property on which Ceejay House has been constructed from the Maharaja of Gwalior in year 1963. This property was with Court Receiver from 1978 to 2005 due to dispute among co-owners. During this period, there was an illegal occupant in the premises behind the then building. They were relocated by an order of the High Court on the third floor when the building was re-developed by the Patel family. Ceejay House is not owned by any individual being mentioned in the news report. All documents and Court orders are available on record,” it said.
According to the ED, Mirchi’s family own at least 26 properties in the UK , UAE and nine properties in India. The agency has also identified about 16 properties in London owned by Mirchi’s wife Hajra.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines