Businessman Raj Kundra, husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, on Friday deposed before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the second time to submit some documents in connection with a property deal case related to Iqbal Mirchi, close aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar. This was the second time that Kundra appeared before the central financial probe agency in connection with the property deal case.
A senior ED official told IANS, "Kundra was asked to appear before the agency to submit few documents related to the land deals near Mumbai airport and its financial transactions and also the documents related to his business dealings with (arrested accused) Ranjeet Singh Bindra, one of the directors of RKW Developers, who was close to Mirchi."
This was the second time that Kundra deposed before the central probe agency in the last ten days. He was questioned by the ED officials on October 30 for over nine hours by the agency under the sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Kundra had earlier said that he never met Mirchi and that he would share all details with the agency required for the probe.
The ED action comes after the central probe agency zeroed in on a real estate firm, RKW Developers Private Limited, controlled by Bindra, which had transactions with Essential Hospitality Limited, where Kundra and Shetty are directors. On Tuesday, the ED also questioned Dheeraj Wadhawan, owner of Mumbai-based real estate firm Dheeraj Realty and a non-executive director of Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL), for nearly seven hours at its Mumbai office in connection with the case.
Wadhawan was taken straight to the ED office for questioning after he was discharged from the hospital where he had been admitted for lung-related ailments. Wadhawan's name had come up during interrogation of the arrested accused Bindra and Humayun Merchant. Bindra is the brother-in-law of Wadhawan and allegedly brokered the deal of the three properties in Worli belonging to Iqbal Mirchi.
According to the ED officials, Bindra was instrumental in the property deals worth Rs 225 crore of Mirchi and his family members and also securing unsecured loan to the Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Ltd to the tune of Rs 2,086 crore. Besides Bindra and Merchant, the agency arrested Haroun Yusuf, former chairman of a dubious trust, both close aides of Mirchi, from Mumbai.
According to the ED, while Bindra acted as a broker for the land deals, Yusuf facilitated them by transferring the money to a trust. Yusuf became a British national in 2004 and played a crucial role in carrying out illegal deals between Mirchi and real estate developers, which were fixed by Bindra for brokerage of around Rs 30 crore.
The ED had earlier unearthed the corporate connection with the role of former Bhushan Steel promoter Naveen Singal, who is under the scanner for the financial transactions to the tune of Rs 19 crore. However, Singal had also denied the links with Mirchi and his aides. The ED has also questioned former Union Minister and NCP leader Praful Patel for his links with Mirchi family members.