Non-bailable warrants against Mirchi’s wife, sons

The three accused failed to appear in a money laundering case registered by ED

A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Tuesday issued non-bailable warrants against late gangster Iqbal Mirchi’s wife and his two sons after they failed to appear before the court in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The central agency had filed a case of money laundering against Mirchi’s wife, his sons and 13 other accused in December 2019 stating that Mirchi had bought properties in India and abroad using money earned through illegal activities.

ED in their case had claimed that Mirchi’s wife Hajra Memon, and two sons Asif and Junaid, were the beneficiaries of the assets earned by Mirchi through proceeds of crime. The ED has listed them as the top three accused.

The agency had last week approached the special PMLA court for warrant against the three as they failed to appear before the court or investigating authorities even after several summons.

The special court, while granting the non-bailable warrant observed, “The application has been served properly with summons for the three to appear before the court, but the accused have failed to appear. Hence, issue open-ended warrants against them.”

The ED has alleged that Mirchi purchased three assets in Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion across the city 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 the basis to initiate a money-laundering enquiry against him.

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

In 2007, a deal was finalised between the trust and a developer, Joy Home Creations Private Limited, after a meeting with Mirchi in London. In 2010, Mirchi allegedly threatened the developer to withdraw, as he failed to make payments as promised. Later, in 2010, M/s Sunblink Real Estate Pvt. Limited took over the project. The agency claimed Ranjeet Singh Bindra was the broker for the deal and was to get ₹40 crore to ₹50 crore as brokerage from Sunblink. As part of the deal signed between Merchant, Joy Home Creation and Sunblink Real Estate, the tenancy rights were transferred to Sunblink for a consideration of ₹225 crore.

Most of the payments were done in 2010 and around ₹43 crore was to be paid by November this year. The agency claimed that ₹127 crore has been paid to Merchant till date. However, as per the records, payment of ₹60 crore has only been made to Merchant, while the rest was transferred through hawala channels. Referring to the statement of a witness, ED claimed a payment of 90 million dirham was made to the UAE through hawala, which was then used for purchase of a five-star hotel in Dubai.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:31:19 AM |

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