Never had dealings with any underworld people: Raj Kundra on Iqbal Mirchi matter

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Oct 31 (ANI): A day after appearing before Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with his alleged business dealings with gangster Iqbal Mirchi, businessman Raj Kundra on Thursday said that he has never had any dealings with or personally known anyone from the underworld.

"I have never had any dealings or known personally any underworld people and its upsetting to see such names attached with mine. I am more disappointed at the way my wife's name is being dragged into this just for TRPs to soar," said Kundra, actress Shilpa Shetty's husband.

He said that he was called by the ED to provide information on the alleged dealings and added that he will continue to cooperate with the agency for the same.

"In 2011, I negotiated to sell a plot that I owned near the airport to RKW Developers whose director was Dheeraj Wadhawan. All my dealing and correspondence that time was with Dheeraj only. In 2013, I transferred my company Essential Hospitality that owned the plot to RKW Developers against full and final payment," Kundra said.

The businessman said that no loans were taken by this company and it was completely debt-free when it was sold to RKW.

"In March 2019, I was looking to make investments in the F and B sector. Ranjit Bindra approached me because he heard I was interested in this space with an offer to invest in his restaurant Bastian. I had been a regular patron at this popular restaurant and decided to invest into the same buying a 50 per cent share stake along with management rights," he added.

Kundra appeared before the ED on Wednesday after the economic offences watchdog summoned him to join investigation in connection with his alleged links with Mirchi, who was a close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

The ED had earlier summoned senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Union Minister Praful Patel for questioning in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to the alleged illegal assets of late Iqbal Mirchi.

ED has identified the Benami assets of Mirchi. The investigation has revealed that he has amassed various properties in India, the UAE and the UK from the proceeds of crime.

Mirchi's associates -- Haroun Yousuf and Ranjit Singh Bindra -- were also remanded to the ED custody on October 12 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. (ANI)