ED summons Praful Patel in money laundering case linked to Dawood Ibrahim's aide
The ED has summoned senior NCP leader Praful Patel in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the alleged illegal assets of late Iqbal Mirchi, an aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, officials said on Tuesday.
They said Patel, a former Union minister in the UPA regime, has been asked to depose in Mumbai on October 18.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is expected to record Patel's statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with a deal between the wife of Mirchi and a real estate company promoted by 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 Mirchi's wife, Hajra Iqbal.
The land on which the tower was made is said to be owned by Mirchi. Investigators claim the land was purchased from the proceeds of crime of money laundering, drugs trafficking and alleged crimes of extortion.
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 press conference held earlier, 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 told reporters in Mumbai.
Dismissing the claims, Patel said, 'My family owns Millennium. No one else is a partner. There is not even a single paisa worth property transaction between the Patel family and Hajra Memon.'
'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 told reporters.
Asked if he saw a political motive behind the ED action in the matter, Patel said, 'You (media) have a better idea as some papers about which even I wasn't aware have come your way.'
The ED had recently arrested two alleged aides of Mirchi, who died in 2013 in London.
Mirchi is alleged to be the right hand man of Dawood Ibrahim in crimes relating to drug trafficking and extortion.