ED officials probing Iqbal Mirchi unearth emails linking Dawood aide to property deals in London, Dubai

Yatish Yadav

New Delhi: Iqbal Mirchi, the right-hand man of India's most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, created a complex web of companies with the help of his associates, who later turned against him to grab the properties allegedly purchased using the underworld's drug money. Mirchi had threatened them for their betrayal. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is exposing the cartel layer-by-layer and a piece of evidence in the form of an email dated 29 June, 2011 has shocked investigators.

From documents accessed by Firstpost, it appears that three of Mirchi's properties in Mumbai's Worli €" Rabia Mansion, Marium Lodge and Sea View €" were traded with Joy Home Creations Limited by the Sir Mohamed Yusuf Trust of Haroun Aleem Yusuf on 9 July, 2005. Mirchi had created the cover of this trust to make the three properties legitimate and to show the courts and law enforcement agencies that he had no links whatsoever with these assets. Yusuf, it appears from the Mirchi's email, did not keep his word and entered into an agreement with Joy Home Creations Limited and subsequently with Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited in 2010, which allegedly received Rs 2,186 crore as a loan from Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL).

Humayun Merchant, Mirchi's trusted aide, threatened Yusuf and asked him to withdraw from the deal with Joy Home Creations. Merchant said Mirchi was shocked and surprised that the trust owned by Yusuf failed to honour the commitment. Yusuf had forged the documents to show to the court that these properties had nothing to do with Mirchi and since they were all 'clean', his trust was ready to put them on sale. Mirchi, the email reveals, felt helpless and betrayed and asked Yusuf to terminate the deal with Joy Home Creations and Sunblink Real Estate.

Notwithstanding the threat from Mirchi, Yusuf on 11 March, 2010 filed an application in court stating that he had no intention of creating any third party rights tenancies on the three properties and was willing to go ahead with the deal. Later, a truce was brokered between Mirchi, Jayant B Soni of Joy Home Creations and Ranjeet Singh Bindra on behalf of Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited. After the meeting, huge sums were paid to Mirchi via hawala channels and he purchased a hotel in Dubai worth more than Rs 200 crore. From the documents reviewed by Firstpost, it is apparent that Yusuf was given directions to create a cover for these properties before the Mumbai blast in 1993.

At around the time money from Mumbai was being moved to Dubai via hawala channels by realtors, Mirchi created another shell firm in London to buy properties at St Swithin's Lane. ED officials have intercepted certain communications between Mirchi and the officers of a London-based real estate firm. Firstpost accessed the documents intercepted by the ED officials, and they suggest that Mirchi also made a move to purchase a property at Fallow Court Avenue in London. The drug leader wrote in his email that he spoke to someone doing his bidding and that the deal could be finalised.

"Dear Beg, Ross spoke to me. He said he will get me Fallow Court deal for 450 Thousands if we finish mill hill purchase. If he can agree for the price what he promised to me then we proceed (sic)," Mirchi wrote to his alleged front man TM Beg.

Mirchi, ED officials said, was also keen to purchase four properties €" two each at Commercial Road, East London and Turner Street. Documents reveal that he was in touch was a certain Mark Bolton for the deal. Whether or not the deal was finalised is not clear in the document trail but there were some heated exchanges between Mirchi and Bolton as the latter was negotiating with other moneybags to sell the London properties.

"I was horrified to learn that you are negotiating with another party after accepting my offer. My agent tried to arrange a meeting, however, I was too upset to agree to such a meeting as my feeling was that the trust and the professional etiquette had been totally destroyed. My reason for writing to you is to express my total disgust with the way you have handled this matter and if the trustees are a part of this they should be ashamed of their action. We have also provided you with bank accounts showing the whereabouts of the monies," Mirchi wrote to Bolton.

ED officials are also investigating a property in Bandra (West), which is allegedly owned by Mirchi through his dummies. Documents gathered by sleuths so far reveal that Mirchi made the deal of a big piece of prime land for pittance just before the Mumbai blast. The ED officials are also trying to figure out the name of politicians and civil administrators who might have helped Mirchi. The probe agency has tracked down a certain Arif who was in touch with Mirchi and communicated with him till 2012. The web of shell companies, dummies and shady deals, officials said, is just the tip of iceberg.

"Mirchi's empire abroad acquired through smuggling and underworld money is even bigger than that in India. In the past couple of years, we have received some classified documents from tax haven countries and are probing the issue further," the ED officials said.

Also See: Inconsistencies rife in Iqbal Mirchi probe since 2004; ED summons Praful Patel in connection with case

ED to summon NCP leader Praful Patel in money laundering case today, after he denies reports of alleged deal with Iqbal Mirchi

Daily Bulletin: SC to hear PIL seeking interim protection for customers in PMC Bank scam today; ED summons Praful Patel for probe in money laundering case; day's top stories

Read more on India by Firstpost.