Mumbai: Three prime properties located in tony Worli allegedly linked with late gangster Iqbal Mirchi, a Dawood aide, have been forfeited under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act (SAFEMA).
The SAFEMA Act provides for the forfeiture of ‘illegally acquired properties’ of smugglers and foreign exchange manipulators and their relatives.
"Relying on the evidence shared by Enforcement Directorate(ED), the Competent Authority (SAFEMA/NDPS Act) has forfeited three buildings-Rabia Mansion, Mariam Lodge and Sea View, all situated at Worli, Mumbai, vide order dated November 9," the ED stated on Wednesday.
The order has been issued under Chapter VA of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985. As per the order, all the transfers or transactions in respect of these properties have been declared null and void.
The value of these properties is approximately Rs 500 Crores as ascertained by ED during the course of the investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
"Investigation conducted by ED revealed that, in 2005 Mirchi, in connivance with Sir Mohamed Yusuf Trust, misrepresented about the ownership of these buildings before the competent authority (SAFEMA/NDPS Act), additional chief metropolitan magistrate and chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM).
The properties were falsely claimed by a trust before these authorities on the pretext that Mirchi had not made complete payment and consequently it did not hand over possession of these properties to Iqbal Mirchi. On the basis of this plea, these properties were earlier released from attachment under NDPS Act in the year 2005.
On November 6 last year, ED informed the correct factual position to the competent authority and shared definite and undeniable evidence of ownership of these properties by Mirchi, the agency said.
This evidence was gathered by ED during course of search proceedings under PMLA. The evidence include complete payment receipts issued by the trust along with the corresponding entry in the bank passbook, letter issued by trust regarding handing over the possession to Mirchi, submissions to Income tax admitting sale of these properties.
In the fresh order, the competent Authority has now observed that the order dated March 11, 2005 was obtained through fraud, willful suppression of documentary evidence and facts and is therefore non-est order in eyes of law. The competent authority further observed that the trust concealed vital evidence and facts regarding the ownership of these properties and had mislead the additional CMM and CMM also. These properties have also been attached by ED under PMLA and the total attachment in this case has reached approximately Rs 798 crore. On the basis of prosecution complaint dated December 9, 2019 filed by ED before the special PMLA Court, open ended non bailable warrants have been issued against Asif Memon, Junaid Memon (both sons of Iqbal Mirchi) and Hajra Memon (wife of Iqbal Memon). Till now, five persons have been arrested in this case.