NEW DELHI :
THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel in connection with its money laundering probe linked to alleged illegal assets of late Iqbal Mirchi, an aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, officials said on Tuesday. They said Patel, a former Union Minister in the UPA regime, has been asked to depose in Mumbai on October 18.
The ED is expected to record Patel’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with a deal between a real estate company promoted by Patel and his wife and wife of Mirchi. He has already been questioned by the ED in an another money laundering case linked to the aviation scam. According to ED officials, Patel’s Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd constructed a building called Ceejay House in 2006-07 and its third and fourth floors were transferred to Mirchi’s wife Hajra Iqbal. The land on which the building tower was made is said to be owned by Mirchi. Investigators claim the land was purchased from the proceeds of crime of money laundering, drugs trafficking and alleged extortion crimes. Patel and his party have denied any wrongdoing in the deal and said that the property papers explain that the transaction is “clean and transparent”.
The ED recently arrested two alleged aides of Mirchi, who died in 2013 in London. Mirchi is alleged to be the right hand man of Dawood Ibrahim in drug trafficking and extortion crimes.
Mere speculation: Patel on alleged deal
SENIOR NCP leader Praful Patel on Tuesday rubbished as “mere speculation” reports about his alleged deal in Mumbai with gangster Iqbal Mirchi. “Documents may have been leaked to media. Obviously, you are in possession of some papers, which may have never been brought to my attention,” Patel told reporters here. Mirchi, a drug lord, died in 2013. It was reported that his wife Hajra Memon entered into a property deal with the Patel family. The ED has claimed that Millennium Developers, a firm run by Praful Patel, transferred two floors in Mumbais Ceejay House to Hajra in 2007 “towards beneficial interest of Mirchi in the land” on which it was built. “My family owns Millennium. No one else is a partner,” Patel said. “There is not even a single paisa worth property transaction between the Patel family and Hajra Memon,” the NCP leader said. “Everything is with the court receiver of the Bombay High Court. We are nowhere directly looking after the property and neither are we directly in charge of it,” Patel said. Asked if he saw a political motive behind the ED action in the matter, Patel said, “You (media) have a better idea as some papers about which even I wasn’t aware have come your way.”