Mirchi deals: Businessman Raj Kundra deposes before ED

Mumbai :  Raj Kundra, husband of bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty on Wednesday deposed before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar’s close aide late Iqbal Mirchi’s associates.

A senior ED official told IANS, “Kundra will be questioned under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for the financial dealings with the arrested accused Ranjeet Singh Bindra.”

The ED action comes after the central probe agency unearthed a real estate firm named RKW Developers Private Limited, controlled by Bindra, which had transactions with Essential Hospitality Limited where Kundra and Shetty are the directors.

According to the ED official, RKW Developers invested Rs 44.11 crore in Essential Hospitality and provided an interest free loan of Rs 31.54 crore.

The official said that over Rs 30.45 crore of loan was granted to Essential Hospitality between April 2017 and March 2018 and Rs 117.17 crore between April 2016 and March 2017.

The official said, “Kundra will be questioned about the nature of the transactions.”

He further said that Kundra will also be questioned if he knew that Bindra was a close associate of the Mirchi and why it gave interest free loan to the Essential Hospitality.

Bindra, who was instrumental in the property deals worth Rs 225 crore of Mirchi and his family members and also securing unsecured loan to the Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Ltd to the tune of Rs 2,086 crore, was arrested on October 11.

Kundra had denied any wrongdoing. Besides Bindra, the agency arrested Haroun Yusuf, former chairman of a dubious trust, both close aides of Mirchi, from Mumbai.

According to the ED, while Bindra acted as a broker for the land deals, Yusuf facilitated them by transferring the money to a trust.

Yusuf became a British national in 2004 and played a crucial role in carrying out illegal deals between Mirchi and real estate developers, which were fixed by Bindra for brokerage of around Rs 30 crore.

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The ED had earlier unearthed the corporate connection with the role of former Bhushan Steel promoter Naveen Singal, who is under the scanner for the financial transactions to the tune of Rs 19 crore.

However, Singal had also denied the links with Mirchi and his aides. The ED has also questioned former Union Minister and NCP leader Praful Patel for his links with the Mirchi family members.

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