MUMBAI: NCP leader
) officials during his questioning on Friday that he was unaware that
and Iqbal ‘Mirchi’ were the same person and claimed that negotiations with the drug lord were held by a relative who died some years ago.
questioned for 12 hours
as part of a
probe against the
aide’s family. The probe is focused on what sources described as a legal agreement between the Patel family-promoted company
and Mirchi’s family.
The ED is now trying to trace one Farooq Patel, who is learnt to have facilitated the deal between Mirchi and Patel. Farooq’s named emerged during the questioning of the late Mirchi’s brother-in-law Muqtar Patka, who would handle the land-related affairs of Mirchi in India. Patel has admitted to ED officials that he knew Farooq.
Officials said Mirchi had encroached on a plot of land in Worli in 1985, a portion of which belonged to the Patel family. Mirchi had started a discotheque, Fisherman’s Wharf, on the plot and would operate his drug business from there. Later, he fled the country to avoid arrest. Subsequently, the discotheque shut shop and in 1999, Millennium Developers entered into an agreement with Mirchi’s wife, Hajra, to develop the entire plot. Millennium Developers constructed a 15-storey building, Ceejay House, on the plot and gave two floors, measuring 14,000 sq ft, to Mirchi’s wife Hajra and her two sons. Mirchi died in London in 2013.
ED officials had confronted Patel on the transfer of over Rs 5 crore by Mirchi’s wife and sons to Millennium Developers. Patel told them that it could be some payment towards building maintenance. The ED is also probing a telephonic conversation between Praful Patel and Mirchi facilitated by a common friend.