ED arrests close aide of Iqbal Mirchi in land deal case, likely to increase Patel’s troubles

Merchant was arrested after several property deals, including those related to Patel, on behalf of Mirchi and his family members were found routed through him.

Published: 22nd October 2019 01:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2019 12:14 AM   |  A+A-

Enforcement Directorate

Enforcement Directorate (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday arrested Humayn Merchant, an associate Iqbal Memon aka Iqbal Mirchi who handled the real estate business of the close aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim with whom former union aviation minister and senior NCP leader Praful Patel allegedly has business relations.

The ED had grilled Patel for over 12 hours last week and sources have said that the arrest made today may add to Patel’s troubles.

The merchant was arrested under the sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 produced before the special PMLA court where he was sent to ED custody till October 24.

Sources said Merchant was arrested after several property deals, including those related to Patel, on behalf of Mirchi and his family members were found routed through him.

On Friday, the ED had grilled Patel for over 12 hours about who the promoters of Millennium Developers were, whether he had ever meet Merchant and if he had travelled to London during 2006-07.

The ED action is based on documents, unearthed during the probe, which shows that Millennium Developers, promoted by Patel and his wife Varsha, developed the 15-storeyed Ceejay House in Mumbai and then gave two floors of the building to Mirchi's family members in 2006-07.

The ED has unearthed deals worth Rs 225 crore related to three buildings - Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion - spread over 1,573 square metres in Worli area of Mumbai.

Last week, the agency arrested Ranjeet Singh Bindra and Haroun Yusuf, two close aides of Mirchi, from Mumbai. According to the ED, while Bindra acted as a broker for the land deals, Yusuf facilitated them by transferring the money to a Trust.

Yusuf became a British national in 2004 and played a crucial role in carrying out illegal deals between Mirchi and real estate developers, which were fixed by Bindra for brokerage of around Rs 30 crore.

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