Mumbai: ₹500-crore properties of late gangster Iqbal Mirchi forfeited under SAFEMA
Three buildings in Mumbai, worth ₹500 crore, belonging to gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Iqbal Mirchi have been declared forfeit by the competent authority under Smuggling and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act (SAFEMA).Updated: Nov 19, 2020, 00:15 IST
Three buildings in Mumbai, worth ₹500 crore, belonging to gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Iqbal Mirchi have been declared forfeit by the competent authority under Smuggling and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act (SAFEMA).
Officials of competent authority under SAFEMA in Mumbai told HT that earlier Mirchi and his associates had managed to avoid forfeiture of the properties by misleading the court. “Once it was established that the said properties belonged to Mirchi, we have started forfeiting proceedings,” the officer said.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said, “The investigation conducted by ED revealed that, in 2005 Iqbal Mirchi, in connivance with Sir Mohamed Yusuf Trust, misrepresented…the ownership of these buildings before the Competent Authority (SAFEMA/NDPS Act).” The three properties are Rabia Mansion, Mariam Lodge and Sea View, all located in Worli. The order for the forfeiture was issued on November 9 under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act. All transactions with respect to these properties have been declared null and void.
Mirchi, who died in 2013, and his associates had managed to avoid forfeiture by misleading the competent authority (SAFEMA/NDPS Act), the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) and the additional CMM. The properties were falsely claimed by Sir Mohamed Yusuf Trust on the pretext that Mirchi had not been given possession because of incomplete payment. Consequently, the court released the properties from attachment on March 11, 2005.
On November 6, 2019, ED officials established Mirchi’s ownership of the properties before the competent authority by presenting evidence collected while investigating a money laundering case linked to Mirchi. The evidence includes complete payment receipts issued by the trust along with corresponding bank entries; a letter issued by the trust handing over possession to Iqbal Memon; and submissions to the income tax department admitting the sale of these properties, said ED sources.
According to ED, Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL) had extended loans to Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Ltd, which purportedly routed money to Mirchi. Mirchi used this money to buy the three properties.