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Praful Patel Summoned By ED Over Alleged Property Deal With Dawood Aide's Wife, Denies Wrongdoing

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been probing Patel for allegedly helping Mirchi, a 1993 bomb blast accused, in money laundering.


Updated:October 15, 2019, 6:56 PM IST
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Praful Patel Summoned By ED Over Alleged Property Deal With Dawood Aide's Wife, Denies Wrongdoing
File photo of Praful Patel.

Mumbai: The ED on Tuesday summoned senior NCP leader Praful Patel in connection with its money laundering probe linked to alleged illegal assets of late Iqbal Mirchi, an aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Officials said Patel, a former Union minister in the UPA regime, has been asked to depose in Mumbai on October 18.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is expected to record Patel's statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with a deal between a real estate company promoted by Patel and his wife and the wife of Mirchi, Hajra Memon.

Addressing a press conference to clarify his stand, the NCP leader said there was no wrongdoing in the deal and documents had been leaked to the media selectively.

According to ED officials, Patel's Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd constructed a building called Ceejay House in 2006-07 and its third and fourth floors were transferred to Mirchi's wife.

The land on which the building tower was made is said to be owned by Mirchi. Investigators claim the land was purchased from the proceeds of crime of money laundering, drugs trafficking and alleged extortion crimes.

Patel and his party have denied any wrongdoing in the deal and said that the property papers explain that the transaction is "clean and transparent".

Rubbishing as "mere speculation" the reports about his alleged deal with Mirchi, Patel said there is not even a single paisa worth property transaction between the Patel family and Hajra Memon.

"Documents may have been leaked to media. Obviously, you are in possession of some papers, which may have never been brought to my attention," Patel told reporters. "My family owns Millennium. No one else is a partner," Patel said.

"Everything is with the court receiver of the Bombay High Court. We are nowhere directly looking after the property and neither are we directly in charge of it," Patel said.

The alleged dealing has been used by the Bharatiya Janata Party to attack the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra ahead of next week's assembly election, with party president and union home minister Amit Shah calling the alleged real estate "treason". Shah, in a TV interview, said the onus was now on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and NCP boss Sharad Pawar to come clean.

The BJP also questioned his induction in the UPA government and asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to clarify if there was any "quid pro quo". NCP leader Patel was a member of the Union Cabinet and served as civil aviation minister from 2004 to 2009 in the first term of the UPA government led by the Congress.

Asked if he saw a political motive behind the ED action in the matter, Patel said, "You (media) have a better idea as some papers about which even I wasn't aware have come your way."

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