Mirchi aide reveals funds trail to Dheeraj Wadhawan

DHFL gave loans worth ₹2,186 cr to Sunblink which is under the scanner for links with gangster Mirchi.

Agencies
DHFL is under the ED scanner for extending loan to a real estate firm which has alleged ties with gangster Mirchi.
Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd promoter Dheeraj Wadhawan was directly named in a case of alleged terror financing against late gangster Iqbal Memon, alias Iqbal Mirchi, for the first time on Tuesday, when a close aide of Mirchi — Humayun Suleman Merchant — told a special court that he had received Rs 5 crore from Wadhawan for facilitating a deal with Sunblink Real Estate, the company at the centre of the probe.

Wadhawan is being probed by Enforcement Directorate, which has found a web of transactions between real estate firms linked to him and Sunblink, to which his non-banking finance company DHFL gave loans worth Rs 2,186 crore. Sunblink is under probe for its property dealings with Mirchi, who died in London in 2013.

Queries emailed by ET to DHFL remained unanswered till press time Tuesday. A person close to the Wadhawans told ET: “Dheeraj has been ailing and is currently hospitalised. He will record his statement once he is discharged and will clear his stand. Statements of the arrested accused should not be taken at face value.” When contacted over the phone, Wadhawan refused to comment.


Fund trail

The ED produced Merchant, also a distant relative of Mirchi, before a PMLA court after arresting him on Monday night. PMLA judge P Rajvaidya remanded Merchant to ED’s custody till Thursday.

“I received Rs 5 crore from Dheeraj Wadhawan. It was transferred to a Bank of India (BoI) account and there are receipts. No other transactions have taken place,” Merchant told the court.

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The ED arrested a woman — Rinku Deshpande — on Tuesday evening in connection with the probe against Mirchi for allegedly forging papers. She will be produced before the PMLA court on Wednesday.

“After having co-operated and attending the ED office whenever called,it is shocking that a 70-year-old man whose passport has been taken by the officers is arrested despite the fact that the case is based on documents. My client’s name was misused in opening some Chennai bank accounts which also the officers told him.arresting a person who is perhaps a star witness sends very wrong signals.the manner of arrest is also bad in law” argued Merchant’s counsel Sujay Kantawala.
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