Family of gangster Iqbal Mirchi declared fugitive economic offenders
The special court for trying offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has declared the wife and two sons of Iqbal Mirchi, an aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, as fugitive economic offenders (FEO).
While declaring Mirchi’s wife Hajra Memon, and their two sons Junaid Memon and Asif Memon as FEOs, special judge AA Nandgaonkar said that their properties in India and abroad are directed to be seized by following due process of law. The court said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is allowed to further add to the list of their properties if, over time, they find any property owned by either of the three.
ED has so far provisionally attached assets worth around ₹798 crore, linked to the family in India and abroad, under the provisions of PMLA.
The agency can begin the confiscation of these properties with the permission of the court.
ED had on December 4, 2020, approached the special court to declare the three as FEOs, as they had failed to respond to warrants issued against them and have not returned to India despite repetitive summons and warrants.
Before declaring them as FEOs the court had issued summons, asking the three to appear before the court on February 16. However, they failed to appear. “The absence of the accused before the court forced me to proceed against the accused in view of section 11 (3) of the FEO Act,” the court said on February 16.
The agency had initiated a money laundering case against Mirchi and his family on September 26, 2019.
Officers of the central agency had also arrested five accused persons, including Dewan Housing Finance Corporation’s (DHFL) Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan and Humayun Merchant, in that case.
ED’s probe has revealed that DHFL had allegedly extended loans to a firm, Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Ltd, which purportedly routed money to Mirchi.
Mirchi died in the United Kingdom (UK) in August 2013.
DHFL came under ED’s scanner when the agency was examining properties linked to Mirchi in Worli. Three properties have already been attached by ED under the PMLA.