ED raids underway on DHFL over alleged links with Dawood aide Mirchi

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is conducting searches on the premises of Diwan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), which has come under the scanner following the recent of two persons associated with gangster Iqbal Mirchi, an aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

As many as 14 premises of DHFL have been raided so far with regard to loan sanctioned to Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Limited, the firm at the centre of controversy for its alleged link with Mirchi. British national Haroun Yusuf, a close aide of gangster Mirchi, and a city-based businessman Ranjeet Bindra, were arrested for their alleged role in money laundering rackets run by Mirchi.

DHFL is at the centre of a controversy for allegedly providing loans to Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited which facilitated routing Rs 2,186 crore to Mirchi in Dubai. DHFL has denied the allegations.

According to the agency, in 1986, Mirchi purchased three properties belonging to Mohammad Yusuf Trust, of which Yusuf was the chairman, for ₹6.5 lakh. According to the ED, the buildings were proceeds of crime.

In 2010, Mirchi allegedly signed agreements for the redevelopment of these properties, for which he received 90 million dirham through a hawala transaction, according to the ED. He used this money to purchase a five-star hotel in Dubai. After Mirchi left the country and was declared a proclaimed offender, these properties were confiscated by Mumbai Police under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act (SAFEMA). The agency said that the trust misrepresented that the properties still belonged to the trust before various legal courts, following which the properties were released and returned to the trust again in 2005.

The ED claimed Mirchi has since used the trust as a front for negotiating with several developers. Further, the agency said that Bindra had played the role of a broker between Mirchi and the developer Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Limited, for which he was to receive ₹40-50 crore.