Senior NCP leader Praful Patel has reached the Enforcement Directorate office after the agency summoned him. Patel is accused of having links with gangster Iqbal Mirchi. Mirchi, a drug lord, died in 2013. It was reported that his wife Hazra Memon entered into a property deal with the Patel family.
Mumbai: Senior NCP leader Praful Patel has reached the Enforcement Directorate office in Mumbai after being summoned for links with gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Iqbal Mirchi.
The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Patel on 18 October in connection with its money laundering probe linked to alleged illegal assets of Mirchi, who was an aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
"Documents may have been leaked to the media. Obviously, you are in possession of some papers, which may have never been brought to my attention," Patel told reporters in Mumbai.
Mirchi, a drug lord, died in 2013. It was reported that his wife Hazra Memon entered into a property deal with the Patel family.
However, Patel on Tuesday rubbished it as "mere speculation" saying there wasn't even "single paisa worth property transaction".
The ED has claimed that Millennium Developers, a firm run by Praful Patel, transferred two floors in Mumbai's Ceejay House to Hazra in 2007 "towards the beneficial interest of Mirchi in the land" on which it was built.
"My family owns Millennium. No one else is a partner," Patel said.
"There is not even a single paisa worth property transaction between the Patel family and Hazra Memon," the NCP leader said adding, “Everything is with the court receiver of the Bombay High Court. We are nowhere directly looking after the property and neither are we directly in charge of it.”
Asked if he saw a political motive behind the ED action, Patel said, "You (media) have a better idea as some papers of which even I wasn't aware that have come your way." The former union minister stressed that Ceejay House property was purchased by Patel's family in 1963 from the Scindias, the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior.
A dispute developed in the Patel family and a suit was filed in 1978 and the property passed under the control of the Bombay High Court's receiver, Praful Patel said.
"There were two hotels in adverse possession (encroaching) on our property is known as Shriniketan, were owned by MK Mohammed. During the legal issue, Mohammed agreed to compromise and in 1988 and in 1990 he transferred the property to Hazra Iqbal Memon legally. There is a proper registration of this transfer duly registered at the office of sub-registrar here in Mumbai," Patel said.
"As per the order of Bombay High Court in 1997, we had arranged alternative accommodation for Hazra, as we had provided for others, including some corporate houses such as Telco (now Tata Motors)," he said. The building was declared unsafe by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, hence the court ordered its redevelopment, said the NCP leader.
The ED is expected to record Patel's statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with the property deal. He has been questioned by the ED in another money laundering case linked to the aviation scam.
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Last Updated Oct 18, 2019, 11:37 AM IST