ED arrests Iqbal Mirchi aide Humayun Merchant as part of probe into controversial properties; to be produced in court at 1 pm today

The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday arrested Humayun Merchant, a close aide of D-Company don gangster Iqbal Mirchi, in its ongoing investigation into properties owned by the latter. Mirchi, Dawood Ibrahim's right-hand man, had given Merchant the 'power of attorney to fix deals on his behalf'.

FP Staff October 22, 2019 12:32:14 IST
ED arrests Iqbal Mirchi aide Humayun Merchant as part of probe into controversial properties; to be produced in court at 1 pm today
  • The ED had earlier identified the benami assets of Mirchi, who is also reportedly an international drug dealer who was declared as one of the 10 foreign drug kingpins by the US

  • The agency had arrested Mirchi's associates, Haroun Yousuf and Ranjit Singh Bindra under PMLA and got their remand for 5 days on 12 October

  • Sources said that Merchant will be produced in a special ED court at 1 pm

Amid the ongoing investigation into controversial properties owned by D-Company gangster Iqbal Mirchi, the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday arrested Humayun Merchant, a close aide of Mirchi. Dawood Ibrahim's right-hand man, Mirchi had given Merchant the "power of attorney to fix deals on his behalf".

Sources said that Merchant will be produced in a special ED court at 1 pm on Tuesday.

Merchant's arrest comes on the heels of ED's raids at locations of DHFL and its promoters in connection with loan sanctioned to Sunblink Real Estate, which has alleged links with Mirchi. The raids on 19 October were conducted at 14 locations across the country, PTI reported.

ED arrests Iqbal Mirchi aide Humayun Merchant as part of probe into controversial properties to be produced in court at 1 pm today

File image of Iqbal Mirchi. CNN-News18

The ED had earlier identified the benami assets of Mirchi, who is also reportedly an international drug dealer who was declared as one of the 10 foreign drug kingpins by the US. The ED had arrested Mirchi's associates, Haroun Yousuf and Ranjit Singh Bindra under PMLA and got their remand for 5 days on 12 October.

Investigation revealed that Mirchi had amassed various properties in India, UAE, and the UK from the proceeds of crime. On 18 October, senior NCP leader Praful Patel had arrived before the ED in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to the alleged illegal assets of the late drug kingpin Mirchi, according to the probe agency's officials.

Who is Humayun Merchant?

According to this Firstpost report, 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 run by 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, the report said. "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)," the report adds.

Merchant, a "trusted aide" of Mirchi's, then threatened Yusuf and demanded that he 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.

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