NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate’s fresh findings in its money laundering case against late drug lord Iqbal Mirchi has revealed that his son Junaid Memon, like many Indian corporates and Bollywood celebrities, maintained a company, Country Property Ltd, in British Virgin Islands through infamous Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Junaid is sole director and shareholder of the company which still controls at least 15 properties identified in the UK so far worth several hundred crores, besides other assets identified in India, Dubai and Turkey purchased by the former Dawood aide.
The agency has recovered e-mails of Iqbal Memon alias Mirchi (itsmemonsundeepgoel1996.com) and analysed alleged extortion and drug proceeds laundered from India to Dubai where the latter ran a few hotels to cover up the dirty money. The money earned through Mirchi syndicate in India were further routed to London through Dubai-based Mihaj Investment Corporation Ltd.
According to investigation details, Mirchi’s finances in London were handled by one Mohamed Damji, his financial consultant. Another associate, Farouk Kadri, worked as the don’s solicitor and helped the drug lord in laundering of proceeds of crime through purchase of properties in UK and projecting them as untainted assets.
The ED has also obtained detailed financial accounts of the Imperial Hotels in Dubai belongng to Mirchi and seized e-mails of one Abdul Rehman who controlled these hotel properties. The analysis of these mails established and revealed Mossack Fonseca’s involvement in registering Country Property Ltd in the name of his son just to evade direct linkages with Mirchi.
The agency has noted travel details of Dheeraj Wadhawan, the promoter of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), to Dubai and London and how the HDFL promoter had helped the fugitive late drug lord in laundering money to London via Dubai through non-banking hawala channels.
According to ED probe, the HDFL promoter had set up Culture Estate LLC in Dubai which was used to make payments to Mirchi in his Imperial Suites group of companies. In what could put the HDFL promoter in deep trouble, these transactions have been corroborated by another accused arrested by the agency Ranjit Singh Bindra and Aslam Merchant, the latter is brother of Iqbal Mirchi.
TOI had reported earlier how the ED investigation has found that Mirchi syndicate is very much active even after the drug lord’s death and now being run by his two sons, Asif and Junaid.
In the last two months, the ED has identified at least five “couriers and witnesses” who have been questioned by investigating officers in Mumbai. The agency has drawn a detailed dossier on the entire network and its current active players. It has been found that Mirchi used his Eden Rice Mill in London to smuggle cocaine, gold and opium.
These key “witnesses” questioned by ED have also disclosed several other names who were active partners of Iqbal Mirchi, besides the latter’s close links with Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, the two prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.


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