ED attaches property belonging to NCP leader Praful Patel in Mumbai

NCP leader Praful Patel

NCP leader Praful Patel | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 21 attached four floors of a commercial building belonging to former Union Minister Praful Patel in connection with a money laundering case involving late gangster Iqbal Mirchi, a close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

The floors belong to Ceejay House owned by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and his family and was developed on a plot where Mirchi also had some properties.

The Central agency had already attached two floors of the building. In October 2019, Mr. Patel was questioned for over 12 hours in the case.

On February 26, 2021, a special court in Mumbai had declared two sons and the wife of Mirchi as fugitive economic offenders in the same case.

The ED had filed a complaint against the Mirchis in December 2020 stating that Mirchi had bought properties in India using money earned through illegal activities and later sold them for redevelopment.

The agency’s complaint mentioned that the three family members were the beneficiaries of the assets earned by Mirchi through proceeds of crime. The ED has alleged that Mirchi had purchased three assets — Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion — in 1986. Officers claimed Mirchi was involved in narcotics smuggling and operated an extortion racket for several years and listed eight cases to prove his involvement in criminal activities since 1984. A case filed in 1994 at MRA Marg police station was taken as the base case to initiate a money laundering inquiry against him.

The ED had also claimed that Mirchi used a trust as a front and began negotiating with several developers to redevelop the properties. Between 1981 and 2010, the original tenants were replaced with Mirchi’s relatives. The agency states that by 2005, almost all tenants were Mirchi’s nominees and were planted by Humayun Merchant in connivance with Haroun Yusuf, both aides of Mirchi.

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Printable version | Sep 9, 2022 9:33:28 am |