Published On: Sat, Oct 19th, 2019

ED carries raid at DHFL promoters premises in money laundering case

Mumbai: Tightening its noose in the multi-crore real estate deals involving fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar’s close aide late Iqbal Mirchi and his family members, the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday carried out raids at 14 places, including Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) and Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited offices and its promoters’ residences here.

The agency is now scrutinising the DHFL documents related to the loan

An ED source said, multiple teams of the agency carried out searches at the office premises of the DHFL office and its promoters premises in connection with the loan to the tune of Rs 2,186 crore given to Sunblink Real Estates since 2010. According to the source, DHFL allegedly had business links with Sunblink Real Estates, the firm at the heart of investigations into the financial dealings of Mirchi.

The development comes in the wake of the financial probe agency making a submission in a Mumbai court that property developer Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited was given a loan of Rs 2,186 crore by DHFL on three properties, which are under the scanner in the Mirchi case.

According to the ED, the purchase of the three assets by Mirchi, who died in London in 2013, were allegedly made from the proceeds of crime. The three buildings – Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion – were sold to a firm for Rs 225 crore in 2010, out of which Mirchi allegedly received the majority share.

The source said, “During the statement recorded under custody of Ranjeet Bindra, who was arrested on October 11. He accepted meetings and further negotiations with Mirchi in London in respect of the said three properties as broker and on behalf of Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited.”

Besides Bindra, the ED had arrested Haroon Yusuf, the former chairman of a dubious trust. According to the central probe agency, Bindra acted as a broker for the land deal while Yusuf transferred the money to a trust and facilitated the deal.

The agency found that Yusuf became a British national in 2004 and played a crucial role in illegal land deals between Mirchi and developers that were carried out by Bindra for brokerage of around Rs 30 crore. The source said, “We suspect that these monies were allegedly routed by Sunblink into accounts linked to Mirchi and his associates since 2010 and thus we are looking for evidence in the form of documents and the money trail.”

He further said that so far in the preliminary investigations DHFL has not been named. “The searches are to ascertain the nature of the loans,” he said.

DHFL, however, has maintained it was never involved in any wrongdoing. The ED on Friday questioned former Union minister and senior NCP leader Praful Patel for over 12 hours in connection with the case. The ED has earlier also questioned Mukhtar Memon, brother of Mirchi’s first wife Hazra Memon.

The ED documents reveal that Millennium Developers, a company promoted by Patel and his wife, constructed a 15-storey building on a plot allegedly owned by Mirchi. As per the list of Mirchi’s properties located in India and the UK, Ceejay House was constructed as a joint venture between Mirchi and Millenium Developers Pvt Ltd in 2006-07. In 2007, the third and fourth floors of the building were given to Mirchi’s family by Millennium Developers.

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