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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Gangster’s aide, bizman held for role in money laundering case

mumbai Updated: Oct 11, 2019 23:57 IST
Hindustantimes
         

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday arrested British national Haroun Yusuf, a close aide of underworld gangster Iqbal Mirchi, and a city-based businessman Ranjeet Bindra for their alleged role in money laundering rackets run by Mirchi. The agency is currently investigating eight such cases against Mirchi dating back to 1985.

The arrested duo was produced before a special Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) court on Friday and remanded in police custody till October 15. According to the agency, in 1986, Mirchi purchased three properties belonging to Mohammad Yusuf Trust, which Yusuf was the chairman of, for a consideration of ₹6.5 lakh. The buildings were proceeds of crime, said the ED.

In 2010, Mirchi signed agreements for the redevelopment of these properties, for which he received 90 million dirham through a hawala transaction. He used this money to purchase a five-star hotel in Dubai. After Mirchi left the country and was declared a proclaimed offender, these properties were confiscated by Mumbai Police under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act (SAFEMA). The agency said that the trust misrepresented that the properties still belonged to the trust before various legal courts, following which the properties were released and returned to the trust again in 2005.

The ED claimed Mirchi has since used the trust as a front for negotiating with several developers. Further, the agency said that Bindra had played the role of a broker between Mirchi and the developer Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Limited, for which he was to receive ₹40-50 crore. A previous developer had been threatened by Mirchi to back out of the project in 2007, said the ED. Further, the agency claimed that while the properties were originally occupied by tenants, by 2005, all of them had been replaced by Mirchi’s relatives.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 23:57 IST

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