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Enforcement Directorate questions Praful Patel over links with underworld gangster Iqbal Mirchi

Patel has already been questioned by the central investigation agency in an another money laundering case linked to the aviation scam.

SNS | New Delhi |

After NCP leader Praful Patel rubbished the reports of his alleged dealings with gangster Iqbal Mirchi on Tuesday saying there wasn’t even ‘single paisa worth property transaction,’ the leader reached the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Mumbai after being summoned by the agency in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the alleged illegal assets of the former aide of underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

Patel, a former Union minister in the UPA regime, reached the ED office in south Mumbai in the morning, officials said. The ED is expected to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with a deal between the wife of Iqbal Mirchi and a real estate company promoted by Praful Patel.

He has already been questioned by the ED in an another money laundering case linked to the aviation scam. According to ED officials, Patel’s Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd constructed a building called Ceejay House in 2006-07 and its third and fourth floors were transferred to Iqbal Mirchi’s wife, Hazra Memon. Mirchi, a drug lord, died in 2013 and it was reported that his wife Hazra Memon entered into a property deal with the Patel family.

The land on which the tower was made is said to be owned by Iqbal Mirchi. Investigators claim the land was purchased from the proceeds of crime, money laundering, drugs trafficking, and alleged crimes of extortion.

Praful Patel and his party have denied any wrongdoing in the deal and said that the property papers explain that the transaction is “clean and transparent.” At a recent press conference, Praful Patel rubbished reports about his alleged deal as “mere speculation.”

“Documents may have been leaked to media. Obviously, you are in possession of some papers, which may have never been brought to my attention,” Patel had said.

“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,” Patel said. Speaking on ED’s alleged political motives Patel said, “You (media) have a better idea as some papers of which even I wasn’t aware 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.