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Iqbal Mirchi PMLA case: Dheeraj Wadhawan, 15 others in ED chargesheet

The agency is probing alleged illegal purchases of certain properties of the Sir Mohammad Yusuf Trust at Worli, in south-central Mumbai, by Mirchi; ED believes the purchases are “proceeds of crime, and were later sold by Mirchi to two builders through agents.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 10, 2019, 07.38 AM IST
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MUMBAI: Dheeraj Wadhawan, the former non-executive director of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), is one of the 16 accused named in a 10,000-page chargesheet the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed in a money laundering case involving the deceased drug-lord Iqbal Memon, alias Iqbal Mirchi.

The agency is probing alleged illegal purchases of certain properties of the Sir Mohammad Yusuf Trust at Worli, in south-central Mumbai, by Mirchi; ED believes the purchases are “proceeds of crime, and were later sold by Mirchi to two builders through agents.

The ED has alleged that Wadhawan, who was interested in developing the Worli plot, set up a ‘dummy’ company, Sunblink Real Estate, to purchase the controversial properties.

Besides Wadhawan, the agency has named Sunblink director Sunny Bathija, property agent Ranjeet Bindra, and Bindra’s company RKW Developers Pvt as the accused in the case. Both Bindra and Wadhawan are former directors of RKW.

Wadhawan could not be immediately reached for his comments.

Sources told ET that the chargesheet mentions payment of around ₹200 crore to Mirchi by Sunblink for the deal. ED suspects that Bindra and another accused, Humayun Merchant, a close confidant of Mirchi, allegedly routed the money paid by Sunblink through hawala channels, shell companies and fake accounts into offshore accounts held by Mirchi.

“These funds are suspected to have been used by Mirchi for terror financing and creating personal assets, including a five-star hotel in Dubai,” said an official aware of the line of probe.

According to sources, Wadhawan allegedly funded the deal through loans taken from DHFL. The erstwhile board of DHFL has maintained that it has never loaned money to Sunblink. Financial documents seen by ET show certain transactions that purportedly involve Sunblink, RKW Developers and DHFL.

These show that in 2010, Sunblink took secured and unsecured loans totalling ₹22.10 crore from DHFL. In the same year, it bought 9,500 fully paid equity shares of RKW Developers for ₹95 lakh. One document pertaining to the list of allotment of equity shares of RKW Developers showed that Sunblink “allotted 9,500 shares” at ₹1,000 each.

In 2010, Sunblink invested ₹9.35 crore in Juhu Investment and ₹5.10 crore in Golden Beach Hotels & Resorts. While Juhu Investment is now known as Juhu Real Estate Developers, Golden Beach Hotels & Resorts is now known as Golden Beach Infracon. In both these companies, Dheeraj Wadhawan was a director earlier.

Another document, the share subscription agreement entered between RKW Developers and Sunblink in February 2019, is signed by Wadhawan and Placid Naronha, directors of RKW Developers, and Sunny Bathija and Mehul Bavishi, directors of Sunblink.

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