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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Woman brokered gangster’s Worli deal: ED

mumbai Updated: Oct 24, 2019 00:23 IST
Hindustantimes
         

The Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) investigation into a money-laundering case involving late gangster Iqbal Mirchi has found one Rinku Deshpande, was the broker in the sale of three controversial properties. Deshpande acted on behalf of Mirchi — an aide of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim — said the agency.

Deshpande, a Bengaluru resident, was arrested on Tuesday evening and produced before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Wednesday and remanded in ED’s custody for two days. The agency has been scanning deals of three properties – Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion in Worli – which were purchased by Mirchi from Sir Mohammad Yusuf Trust in 1986.

Arrested businessman Humayun Merchant, in connivance with arrested British national Haroun Yusuf, chairman of the trust, facilitated a deal to develop these buildings. In 2010, M/s Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Ltd entered into an agreement with the trust for the surrender of tenancy rights to Sunblink for ₹225 crore.

“She [Deshpande] played the role of a broker in association with businessman Ranjit Bindra, another accused arrested in the case, between Mirchi and Merchant and Sunblink. She received criminal proceeds and assisted Mirchi in acquisition and laundering of proceeds of crime received by Mirchi from Sunblink,” the agency stated in its remand report to the court.

The ED alleged that Deshpande was in contact with Mirchi and his relatives. “It also appears that she may have opened or aided the opening of accounts using fake KYC documents,” the agency stated. “To siphon money, Deshpande was introduced as fake confirming party and received an amount of ₹30.40 crore in her accounts. This amount was allegedly distributed among brokers, including Deshpande,” the agency added.

The ED alleged that to cover up the money (₹30.40 crore) received, Deshpande, in her statement told them that she had loaned Bindra ₹38 crore and that she accepted the amount as repayment. “She could not explain the source of the ₹38 crore,” the ED said.

In a related development in the case, based on ED’s request, a look-out circular has been issued against Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoter of Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd (DHFL).

Sources close to Wadhawan said he will soon issue a statement, as he is currently recuperating in a hospital.

The sources said it was earlier in this year when look-out notices were issued against over 40 people from companies that have an exposure worth over ₹200 crore to banks. They claim there is no connection with the Sunblink money laundering case.