Monday 1 March 2021
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Praful Patel in soup as ED sniffs Mirchi out of his broth

Millennium Developers, a company run by Praful Patel and his wife Varsha, allegedly built a 15-storey building on a plot owned by Iqbal Mirchi

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Crime Praful Patel in soup as ED sniffs Mirchi out of his broth

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent a summons to former Union minister Praful Patel. The ED will interrogate Praful Patel on 18 October in Mumbai. The NCP leader will be questioned in connection with the CJ House case and the agreement with Iqbal Mirchi’s wife.

Praful Patel owns two flats in CJ House. In 2007, an agreement was signed to develop the property. According to ED sources, the investigating agency has information that a contract between Iqbal Mirchi and Praful Patel regarding the CJ House property was signed in 2007.

On getting the summons, Patel said on Monday that he would give whatever answer he had to give when it was time. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) politician will be questioned over the assets of CJ House. The ED claims that this property belongs to Dawood Ibrahim‘s close aide Iqbal Mirchi.

A sale deed has revealed that Praful Patel signed the document as a co-owner. It is alleged that he owns two flats in the CJ House. However, Patel has denied any wrongdoing in any way.

ED officials are now investigating the money trail in the case. The investigation is being carried out to ascertain whether foreign accounts were used for money laundering and purchase of the Worli-situated CJ House building. Mirchi died in the year 2013.

How Patel is connected to underworld according to ED

ED documents show that Millennium Developers, a company run by Praful Patel and his wife Varsha, allegedly built a 15-storey building on a plot owned by Iqbal Mirchi, an associate of underworld don and wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, who runs an international crime syndicate, which has deep ties in Mumbai and Dubai.

While the former civil aviation minister has denied any connection with the underworld gang in the controversial land deal, the BJP’s attacks on him would be relentless at this juncture, given the upcoming Assembly election in Maharashtra.

Initial investigations by the ED revealed that Mirchi’s associate Haroun Yusuf had transferred money for a land deal to buy a five-star hotel in Dubai. Patel said that this idea and the documents, which have been leaked to the media, are “imaginary”. “Obviously, you have some papers that never came to my attention. At this stage everything is with the Mumbai High Court. We are not directly overseeing the property nor are we directly in charge of it,” he said.

ED had arrested Yusuf, chairman of a fishy charity trust suspected of owning a number of properties of Mirchi at prominent locations in Mumbai, along with real estate agent Ranjit Singh Bindra. The ED has provided important clues on the money trail associated with the 2006-07 CJ House deal in Mumbai.

If the Dubai connection is confirmed by the ED, it could cause more trouble for Patel, who is already on target for the CJ House deal. The ED, which is probing the money laundering case, has received information about an alleged agreement between Mirchi’s wife and Millennium Developers for a property in Mumbai.

According to ED sources, the investigating agency is trying to find out how Patel dealt with Mirchi while the politician was a Union minister in 2007 and Mirchi was arrested on charges of MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act). According to ED sources, Mirchi and his family members own several benami properties in Mumbai. Two of these properties, located in Worli, Mumbai, were sold to Sunblink Realtors Private Limited and Millennium Developers Private Limited.

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