Mumbai, Oct 19, 2019-
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, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday carried out searches at over 14 places, including offices of Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) and Sunblink Real Estate Private Ltd and residences of their promoters.
The ED also questioned DHFL’s non-executive director Dheeraj Wadhawan, also the brother of DHFL’s Chairman and Managing Director Kapil Wadhawan, in connection with the case.
The ED teams carried out searches in connection with the Rs 2,186 crore loan issued to Sunblink Real Estates since 2010. Sunblink Real Estates is a firm of Dheeraj Realty, whose promoter is Dheeraj Wadhawan, an ED source told IANS.
According to the source, DHFL had business links with Sunblink Real Estates, the firm at the heart of investigations into the financial dealings of Mirchi. “Some of the amounts were paid in dummy bank accounts in Chennai and a part of payment was made in Dubai as well, which is under investigation,” he said.
The development comes in the wake of the ED’s submission in a Mumbai court that Sunblink Real Estate was given a loan of Rs 2,186 crore by DHFL on three properties, under the lens in the Mirchi case.
In the coming days, the ED might question Kapil Wadhwan over loans to Sunblink Real Estate, the source added.
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. Mirchi allegedly received the majority of it.
“Ranjeet Bindra, arrested on October 11, in the statement recorded under custody, accepted meetings and negotiations with Mirchi in London in respect of the three said properties as broker and on behalf of Sunblink Real Estate,” the source said.
The ED also arrested Haroon Yusuf, former chairman of a dubious trust. According to the agency, Bindra acted as a broker in the land deal while Yusuf transferred the money to a trust and facilitated the deal.
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.
“We suspect the money had allegedly been routed by Sunblink into accounts linked to Mirchi and his associates since 2010. We are looking for evidence in the form of documents and the money trail,” the source said.
So far, DHFL has not been named. “The searches are to ascertain the nature of 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 also questioned Mukhtar Memon, brother of Mirchi’s first wife Hazra Memon. The ED documents reveal 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, in India and the UK, Ceejay House was constructed as a joint venture between Mirchi and Millenium Developers in 2006-07.
In 2007, the third and fourth floors of the building were given to Mirchi’s family by Millennium Developers. (Agency)