New Delhi: The Delhi-based adjudicating authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) act has confirmed Enforcement Directorate (ED)'s provisional attachment of certain assets of former Civil Aviation minister and senior NCP leader, Praful Patel, as part of its probe related to late international drug trafficker Iqbal Mirchi's assets.
Patel and his family's four floors at the Ceejay House, including his 15th-floor residence, had been attached provisionally by the ED in July last year, which was confirmed by the adjudicating authority recently, ED sources said.
Patel did not respond when FPJ attempted to contact him for his comments on Wednesday over the attachment's confirmation.
ED had questioned Patel in October 2019 as part of its enquiry into an alleged 2006-07 joint venture between his company, Millennium Developers Private Limited, and Mirchi for the construction of the 15-storey commercial building.
ED sources had maintained that he had denied any wrongdoing, whatsoever, and claimed that Memon and her sons got the two floors via court processes.
Floors transferred to Mirchi's family members
According to the ED’s probe into Mirchi’s assets, as part of an agreement, the third and fourth floors, measuring 14,000 square feet, of Ceejay House on Annie Besant Road, had been allegedly handed over to Mirchi’s first wife, Hajra Memon and their two sons, Asif Iqbal and Junaid. According to the ED’s investigation, the two floors were transferred to the Mirchi family by the company in 2007 owing to his “beneficial interest” in the land. Sources said Memon allegedly bought tenancy rights in 1990 from a person who ran two restaurants from the plot where Ceejay House was later built.
A deed of confirmation on the alleged sale listed Millennium as the owner and Hajra Memon and her son, Asif Iqbal and Junaid Iqbal, as tenants. The other stakeholders are the ‘co-owners’, for whom Patel has been shown as the ‘constituted attorney’. As per the deed, the ‘tenants’ were allegedly provided the two floors as alternative accommodation on the basis of ‘ownership’ in 2004.
Iqbal Mirchi case
According to a report in India Today, Patel was questioned for over 12 hours in October 2019. A company belonging to Patel and his family had developed the Ceejay House. After its development, two floors were given to Iqbal Mirchi's family members.
Reportedly, Wadhawan brothers Kapil and Dhiraj of DHFL were also investigated in the case. While Dhiraj was on bail, Kapil was arrested in the case.
Several others were also arrested. Iqbal Mirchi's wife Hazra and sons Asif and Junaid were summoned on multiple occassions in the case but they failed to appear. ED also has attached properties of Iqbal Mirchi and family overseas in the case.
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