Mumbai: Court declares Iqbal Mirchi’s kin fugitives, directs ED to seize properties

A special court designated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Friday declared late underworld don Iqbal Memon alias Mirchi’s wife Hajra Memon and sons Junaid Memon and Asif Memon as fugitive economic offenders (FEO) under the FEO Act.

Such a declaration would pave the way for the agency to confiscate 15 properties of the family in India including two floors of a commercial sea-facing building in Worli worth around Rs 98 crore.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is the prosecuting agency in the case, also intends to confiscate six of their bank accounts. Earlier, the agency had provisionally attached properties of the family in the country and abroad to the tune of Rs 798 crore.

Special judge Abhijeet A Nandgaonkar passed the order upon an application made by the agency in December last year to declare them as FEO under the 2018 law as they had evaded presence before the special court.

The court also directed that their properties in India and abroad be seized by following due process of law. It said that the ED can file a supplementary application to provide a further list of properties of the trio that may be proceeds of crime or benami properties that the agency may have found during the course of investigation.

Earlier, the court had issued open ended non-bailable warrants against them which could not be executed.

Vijay Mallya was the first person to be declared an FEO under the Act that came into force in July 2018, followed by diamantaire Nirav Modi. The assets of the duo were ordered to be confiscated by the court under the Act.

The ED has charged the Mirchi family and others including Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL)’s Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan for alleged illegal dealings in purchase and sale of upmarket real estate in Mumbai. The properties were allegedly purchased from profits from Mirchi's drug businesses and hence considered proceeds of crime.

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