Home >Companies >News >ED attaches Ceejay House & 6 other properties in Iqbal Mirchi case

MUMBAI : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday provisionally attached two floors of Ceejay House and six other residential and commercial properties with market value of 600 crore, said ED in a press statement. The case is of alleged money laundering, amassing huge wealth and some of the proceeds being used for terror financing.

The properties have been attached after links has been traced back to the deceased former aide of Dawood Ibrahim - Memon Iqbal Mohammed or Iqbal Mirchi. An accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, Mirchi was wanted by the Indian government on multiple charges of murder, extortion and drug traffic.

These properties include 3 and 4 floor of Ceejay house , Worli, Mumbai, an office premise at Arun Chambers, Tardeo, Mumbai, three flats in Sahil Bungalow, Worli, Mumbai, three prime commercial shops in Crawford Market, Mumbai and Bungalows & Land (more than 5 acres) in Lonawala. The other properties include - Rabia Mansion, Marium Lodge and Sea View in the prime location of Worli, Mumbai, estimated to be worth 500 crore, these attachments includes links with a local builder Sunblink Real Estate, which had received funding from Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL).

DHFL is currently undergoing bankruptcy resolution under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

"These properties were acquired by Iqbal Mirchi in the name of his family members and relatives," said ED.

The attachment comes after ED filed a 12000 page chargesheet in the case against 16 individuals including late Iqbal Mirchi, his sons Asif Memon and Junaid Memon, his wife Hazra Memon, Director of Sunblink Real Estate Sunny Bhatija, broker Ranjeet Singh Bindra and Dheeraj Wadhawan director of Sunblink and a non-executive director of DHFL.

What are the links?

Mirchi was the owner of various properties in and around Mumbai. His wife Hazra Menon owned 14,000 Sq. Ft area of 3rd and 4th floor of Ceejay House with an estimated value of 85 crore. Located at the posh neighborhood of Worli in south Mumbai, the Ceejay Jouse is a 300,000 sqft building currently hosting a large global financial institutions such as Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities. While India's Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover continue to operate their showrooms out of the building, some of its earlier tenants included Lehman Brothers and Societe Generalli.

The two floors back in 1970 belonged to AK Mohammad who was illegally occupying a portion of it. Iqbal Mirchi entered into an agreement with M K Mohammed for acquiring the rights in the property in the name of his wife Hazra Memon for 9 Lakh and the agreement was executed in 1986.

"Though payments of only 20,000 was made in 1986, the possession of the property was taken by Iqbal Memon in 1986 itself and he started running a discotheque by the name of ‘Fisherman’s Wharf"," said ED in its press statement.

This property was later redeveloped by Millennium Developer Pvt Limited in 2007 and Mirchi was given 14000 Sqft on 3rd and 4th Floor of Newly constructed Ceejay House in Worli Area in the name of his wife Hajra Memon and sons. Millenium Developers is owned by senior National Congress Party leader and former union aviation minister Praful Patel.

The same modus operandi of acquiring properties in the names of relatives was used in the other six properties to hide the criminal origin of the funds, ED found in its probe.

Investigation also revealed that Sunblink Real Estate had paid a total amount of 111.80 crores to various persons/entities(including Mirchi) in India in relation to purchase of development rights of these properties in addition to 154 Crore paid to Iqbal Mirchi in Dubai.

"From the proceeds received in Dubai, Iqbal Memon purchased a Hotel namely Midwest Apartment in Dubai for AED 93 Million. Investigation under PMLA revealed that the ownership of these properties is still with Sir Yusuf Mohammed Trust who acted in active collusion with Mirchi and was proxy owner on behalf of Mirchi," ED said.

Sunblink Real Estate had negotiated a deal with Mirchi with the help of a middleman Ranjit Bindra. The little-known Sunblink was funded by Dewan Housing Finance through a loan of 2,186 crore. ED is presently ascertain the nature of the funding.

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