Hours after the Enforcement Directorate established links between the UPA era Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel and Dawood’s aide Iqbal Memon alias ‘Mirchi’ after they zeroed in the properties of Memon, Praful Patel has spoken in defence of D-company calling them ‘tax-payers’ and not terrorists.
Today the NCP leader and former Union Minister Praful Patel addressed a press conference, where he was heard defending Hajrah Memon, wife of Iqbal Mirchi by saying that if the government agencies had any reason to believe that Hajrah Memon was an undesirable person, it should have been duly notified then. In her defence, Praful Patel audaciously goes on to say that Hajrah is an “income tax-payer” hinting that she, who is actually the kin of the key aide of the fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, is a law-abiding citizen of India.
Defending his signatures on the documents accessed by ED that linked him to Iqbal Memon, Praful Patel goes on to say that in 2007 the Supreme Court had restored Hajrah Memon’s passport and lifted travel restrictions on Hajra Memon indicating that she was not a terrorist but an ordinary citizen.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) October 15, 2019
This statement is extremely caustic and blatant considering UPA had earlier argued that Hajrah Memon was a ‘national security risk’.
Meanwhile, yesterday, OpIndia had accessed documents which validated NCP leader and former Union Minister Praful Patel’s financial dealings and direct links with one of the most wanted criminals Dawood Ibrahim and his associates.
We had earlier reported regarding the massive crackdown launched by Enforcement Directorate on the properties linked to Iqbal Memon alias ‘Mirchi’, who had in turn linked to former UPA-era civil aviation minister Praful Patel and his wife Varsha Patel through property deals.
The ED came to know of such a link between Praful Patel and Dawood’s aide Memon after they had zeroed in the properties of Memon alias ‘Mirchi’. While tracking Mirchi’s business ventures and properties in India and the UK, the ED has discovered links with a firm that is linked to Praful Patel and his wife Varsha Patel.
According to the list of Mirchi’s properties located in India and the UK, A 15-story building in Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli, named ‘Ceejay House’ was constructed as a JV between Mirchi and M/S Millenium Developers Pvt Ltd in 2006-07. In 2007, the third and fourth floors of the building were given to Mirchi’s family by Millenium Developers.
Former Union Minister Praful Patel and his wife Varsha Patel own a significant number of shares in Millenium Developers Pvt Ltd. In the documents, the 12th floor of the CeeJay House is mentioned as the address of Praful and Varsha Patel. It is notable here that NCP leader Praful Patel’s family owns the CeeJay Group, a large tobacco conglomerate in India.
The revelations followed the arrest of Mirchi’s two close aides — former chairman of Sir Mohammed Yusuf Trust Haroun Yusuf and real-estate broker Ranjeet Singh Bindra. The ED arrested them on Friday.
The ED has named Mirchi as an international drug dealer, smuggler, extortionist and criminal involved in anti-national interest. In 2004, Mirchi was listed as one of the foreign drug kingpins by the US state department. He had an Interpol red corner notice against him. Mirchi had died in the UK on 14 August 2013.
Mirchi and his family members had amassed huge wealth in India and abroad. The family had fled to Dubai and had shifted their empire overseas. Haroun Yusuf, chairman of Mirchi’s trust has been named by ED as the facilitator of many of the shady property deals. The ED has listed 25 properties in the UK owned by Mirchi’s family and business partners.