In one of the biggest arrests in the ongoing crackdown on D Company, the Enforcement Directorate held gangster Iqbal Mirchi’s close aide Humayun Merchant in Mumbai on Tuesday. Sources say Merchant was involved on behalf of Mirchi in one of the costly property deals in posh Worli locality. Reports say that Merchant used to take care of Iqbal Mirchi’s clandestine real estate business in and around Mumbai. In fact, Merchant also had the power of attorney. He used to frequently fly between Mumbai and London. He was the main go-to person for the gangster for purchasing properties specifically in south Mumbai.Merchant is also reportedly connected to the Wadhwans, who are the prime accused in the PMC bank fraud.
Earlier on Saturday, the ED carried out searches at about a dozen premises of DHFL and other linked firms in connection with its money laundering probe against Iqbal Mirchi, the aide of global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, officials said. They said the raids are being conducted in and around Mumbai under provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). About a dozen premises are being searched, they added.
The Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) allegedly had business links with Sunblink Real Estate, the firm at the heart of investigations into the financial dealings of Mirchi. The DHFL had given loans of Rs 2,186 crore to the real estate firm
The ED suspects these monies were allegedly routed by Sunblink into accounts linked to Mirchi and his associates.
The agency is looking for evidence in the form of documents and other paraphernalia as part of the latest operation, they said. The DHFL earlier said it had no links to the alleged dubious transactions.
The ED turned up the heat in the money laundering case linked to the multi-crore real estate deals of Mirchi and others after recently arresting two of his alleged aides. Mirchi had died in 2013 in London. He was alleged to be the right hand man of Dawood Ibrahim in drug trafficking and extortion crimes
NCP leader Praful Patel was questioned by the agency in this case on Friday for his alleged property deal with the family of Mirchi. Patel has denied wrongdoing.
(With agency inputs)