ED ensures forfeiture of assets in Iqbal Mirchi case

Mukesh Ranjan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, Nov 18

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said based on the evidence provided by it the competent authority under the Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976 and the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act has forfeited three buildings – Rabia Mansion, Mariam Lodge and Sea View (all situated at Worli, Mumbai) – in the Iqbal Mirchi case.

Agency officials said the order, dated November 9, 2020, was issued under Chapter VA of the NDPS Act, 1985 and according to it “all the transfers/transactions in respect of these properties have been declared null and void”.

The value of these properties is approximately Rs 500 crore as ascertained by the ED during the course of its investigation in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they added.

“Investigation conducted by the ED revealed that in 2005 Iqbal Mirchi, in connivance with Sir Mohamed Yusuf Trust, misrepresented about the ownership of these buildings before the competent authority.

“The properties were falsely claimed by a trust before these authorities on the pretext that Iqbal 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 the NDPS Act in the year 2005,” said a senior agency official.

However, on November 6, 2019, the officials said, the ED informed “the correct factual position” to the competent authority and shared “definite and undeniable evidence” of ownership of these properties by Iqbal Mirchi.

The evidences, which were gathered by the ED during course of search proceedings under the PMLA, 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 Iqbal Memon, submissions to Income Tax admitting sale of these properties, etc., they said.

Based on the evidence provided to it, the competent authority in a fresh order 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”, said the officials.

 



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