PMLA case: Mirchi associate's ED custody extended

A special court here on Saturday extended till October 23 the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of Ranjeet Singh Bindra, arrested in connection with a money laundering case against Iqbal Mirchi, a close aide of global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim.

The ED produced Bindra, who was arrested on October 11, before special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court judge P Rajvaidya at the end of this remand on Saturday.

The court extended his custody after the central agency submitted that investigation into the matter was underway.

The probe pertains to Mirchi purchasing three properties belonging to Sir Mohammad Yusuf Trust in September 1986 for an amount of Rs 6.5 lakh through his company Rockside Enterprise.

These properties - Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion - measuring 1,537 sq metre are located in the Worli area of Mumbai.

The ED has alleged that Bindra negotiated with Mirchi on behalf of Sunblink Real Estate Private Ltd and finalised the property deal. He got a brokerage of Rs 30 crore through market operators.

From the statements of other people recorded so far and the facts brought on record it appears that Bindra played a very crucial role in Mirchi's illegal dealings, the probe agency told the court.

ED counsel Hiten Venegaokar said the accused have provided information about money laundered abroad and how the money travelled needed to be probed.

The agency further said searches were being conducted in the premises of person/company involved in the matter. It said further incriminating material is likely to be recovered and they need to confront the accused with the same.

The ED on Saturday conducted searches at about a dozen premises of DHFL and other linked firms in connection with their case.

The Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) allegedly had business links with Sunblink Real Estate, the firm at the heart of investigations into the financial dealings of Mirchi.

The DHFL had given loans of Rs 2,186 crore to the real estate firm.

Earlier, the ED had filed a criminal case of money laundering against Haroun Yusuf, currently in judicial custody, and Bindra on the basis of an FIR registered by Mumbai Police against Mirchi and others.

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