NEW DELHI :
In mounting trouble for Praful Patel, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned the former civil aviation minister for recording his statement in its Mumbai office on 18 October, connection with a money laundering case involving drug dealer Iqbal Mirchi.
While Iqbal died in London in 2013, Patel has come under the probe agency’s scanner. The ED has alleged that in 2006, Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd developed Ceejay House in Mumbai, of which two floors were transferred to Mirchi’s wife Hazra Iqbal in 2007.
At the same time, the probe agency has alleged that the sale of the land to Millennium Developers – of which Praful and his wife are stakeholders -- was done through alleged dubious means, with the proceeds being laundered by Mirchi.
In June, the Enforcement Directorate quizzed Patel for his role in an alleged aviation scam during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Patel, a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, was in charge of the civil aviation ministry between 2004 and 2011.
The ED had also summoned Patel in May for questioning in the case probing alleged roles of some government officials and ministers in the UPA government in awarding favourable air traffic rights to foreign airlines that caused losses to Air India. Patel was named in a recent chargesheet filed by the agency as a person known to corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar.
Talwar was extradited from Dubai in January this year. The ED has alleged that Talwar was in regular touch with Patel.