The news of former civil aviation minister Praful Patel’s link to Iqbal Mirchi, a close associate of ‘Mumbai Serial Bomb Blast Mastermind Dawood Ibrahim’ has come at the worst time for Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). However, the party has denied any link, reports The Indian Express.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing a case of alleged money laundering and plans to attach at least 35 properties belonging to the family of Iqbal Mohammed Memon aka Iqbal Mirchi in India and abroad.
According to the ED, Patel’s Millennium Developers Pvt. Ltd. constructed Ceejay House in 2006-07 and its third and fourth floors were transferred to Mirchi’s wife Hajra Iqbal in 2007 “towards beneficial interest of Mirchi in the land” on which it was built.
The sale of land to Millennium Developers, the ED claimed, was “through dubious means” and the sale proceeds were “laundered” by Mirchi.
Varsha Patel who co-owns Millennium Developers along with her Husband, Praful will most likely be questioned in the case.
In a statement released by NCP, it denied any link between Patel and Iqbal Mirchi, and said,“Praful Patel’s family bought the property on which Ceejay House has been constructed from the Maharaja of Gwalior in year 1963. This property was with Court Receiver from 1978 to 2005 due to dispute among co-owners. During this period, there was an illegal occupant in the premises behind the then building. They were relocated by an order of the High Court on the third floor when the building was re-developed by the Patel family. Ceejay House is not owned by any individual being mentioned in the news report. All documents and Court orders are available on record.”
According to the ED, Mirchi’s family owns at least 26 properties in the UK, UAE and nine properties in India. The agency has identified about 16 properties in London owned by Mirchi’s wife Hajra.