The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accused Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd (DHFL) promoter Dheeraj Wadhawan of being the “prime mover” of a property deal between a company linked to him and erstwhile drug lord Iqbal Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi. The ED, which is investigating a money laundering-terror funding case against Memon, is also inquiring into the real estate deal.
In a 7,000-page chargesheet filed earlier this month, the agency has detailed how Wadhawan used DHFL to pay more than Rs 110 crore to Memon. Also, payments to the tune of 128.5 million UAE dirhams (approximately Rs 154 crore) were made to Memon via Culture Estate LLC, a Dubai-based company in which Wadhawan was a director until 2008.
The money laundering case relates to Memon’s Mumbai properties, which are being treated by the ED as the proceeds of crime. Three such properties were sold to Sunblink, the company linked to Dheeraj Wadhawan. The latter has told the ED that he didn’t know Memon was a wanted man but the agency said he had been alerted about this by his one of his brokers.
The prosecution complaint, equivalent to a chargesheet filed by the ED, stated that Wadhawan went ahead despite being alerted by his broker Chandresh Jhunjhunwala that Memon was wanted by the government of India (GoI).
“Ten-12 days after the visit (Wadhwan’s meeting with Iqbal Mirchi in London in May 2010), Jhunjhunwala came to know that Iqbal Memon is also known as Iqbal Mirchi, who was connected to the underworld and wanted by the GoI,” according to the complaint, which ET has seen. “Dheeraj told them that nothing will happen and asked them to complete the deal.”
Wadhawan and his brokers met Memon in Dubai and London between March and August 2010. He was also invited to the wedding of Iqbal Memon’s son Junaid Memon, also an accused in the case.
After their father’s death in 2013, Junaid and younger brother Asif negotiated the deal.
“After Mirchi’s deal with the previous dealer didn’t materialise, Wadhawan showed interest in the property. Wadhawan desired to meet the actual owner i.e. Iqbal Mirchi. Accordingly, Jhunjhunwala and another accused Humayun Merchant went to London on March 8, 2010, to meet Mirchi. The tickets for the same were arranged by Wadhawan,” said the complaint. “Bindra and Wadhawan went to London on March 10 and a meeting was held on March 11 around 4 pm at Dockmaster Restaurant… In this meeting the deal was locked for an amount of Rs 200-225 crore.”
Brother Kapil Wadhawan also travelled to London but did not participate in the meeting with Mirchi. The relationship between Dheeraj Wadhawan and the Memons was closer than a professional association. “Dheeraj Wadhawan was amongst the selected few invitees from India (for Junaid Memon’s wedding). This clearly establishes very deep relation between Mirchi and certain accused,” according to the chargesheet.
Dheeraj Wadhawan has told the ED that he didn’t know the properties belonged to Menon or his family members.
“He is not aware of the facts that the properties belong to Memon or his family members. He negotiated only with Merchant, Harun Yusuf and Jayant Soni (co-accused) and met sons of Iqbal — Junaid and Asif — in Mumbai on two occasions with regards to legal notices sent by his advocate to clarify their claim into the said properties,” according to the chargesheet. “They have not paid any overseas payments for the said deal to Iqbal Mirchi or his family members or related companies… He had formed Culture Estate LLC in April 2007 and exited the same in August 2008... He started Dheeraj & East Coast LLC with his local partner in 2006 and exited the company in 2009.”
Defence lawyers have sought bail for their clients now that the ED has filed a chargesheet.
“From the perusal of the complaint the ED alleges that Mirchi committed certain scheduled offences in 1993 and money therefrom were used to purchase certain properties,” according to Sujay Kantawala, Humayun Merchant’s lawyer. “It is the further case of ED that the name of the son of Humayun Merchant was misused and fictitious bank accounts were opened in name of Musharraf to route money related to said properties. However, the son is exonerated as he is found victim of identity theft and misuse and correctly he is treated as a witness. Since the complaint is filed in an alleged offence attracting maximum seven years punishment, it is now a fit case for bail and I see a clear case for an honourable discharge in the near future.”
Sunblink Real Estate, among the accused, was allegedly floated by Wadhawan to facilitate the purchase of three Worli-based properties belonging to Iqbal Memon, which the agency has identified as “proceeds of crime.” An agreement was reached between Memon and Sunblink on March 25, 2010, after the London meeting. Out of the Rs 225 crore that was agreed upon, Rs 170 crore was to be paid to Menon through hawala channels and offshore companies, the chargesheet stated.
“Source of the said amount paid in India, i.e. Rs 111 crore, towards the said deal was arranged from DHFL and RKW Developers Pvt. Ltd,” according to the chargesheet.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.