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ED arrests close aide of Iqbal Mirchi in money laundering case

twitter-logoPTI | October 22, 2019 | Updated 15:51 IST

(Eds: Updating with more inputs) Mumbai, Oct 22 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate has arrested a close aide of late gangster Iqbal Mirchi in connection with a money laundering case, officials said on Tuesday. Iqbal Mirchi alias Iqbal Memon was an associate of global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. Humayun Merchant was arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on Monday night here, the officials said. He will be produced before a special court in Mumbai for further custody, they said. Merchant was stated to be a "close friend" and aide of Mirchi. It is alleged by the ED that Merchant "planted" tenants to purportedly usurp three immovable properties Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion in Worli belonging to the Sir Mohammad Yusuf Trust. The tenants were "dummy", the agency's probe has found. Merchant's links with a company Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Ltd, promoted by senior NCP leader Praful Patel, are also under the ED's scanner. He is accused to have "arranged" a meeting between Mirchi and the promoter of a local real estate firm, Joy Home Creation Pvt Limited, in London to develop these assets and the tenancy rights were transferred to the local company for a short period. Merchant is stated to have received over Rs 170 crore monies as part of this real estate sale deal which, the agency states, are alleged illegal funds and proceeds of crime of money laundering. The central agency has arrested two other people, Haroun Aleem Yusuf and Ranjeet Singh Bindar, for allegedly facilitating these deals, in this case early this month. Patel has also been grilled by it in the case last week. PTI NES NES ANB ANB

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