Fri, 22 Nov 2019

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Oct 23 (ANI): A special court here on Wednesday sent Rinku Deshpande, a close aide of gangster Iqbal Mirchi, to the custody of Enforcement Directorate (ED) till October 25 in connection with an alleged land deal case.

The court also sent another accused in the case Ranjit Singh Bindra to judicial custody till October 24. His bail petition is also slated to be heard on Thursday.

According to the ED, Deshpande and Bindra had played a crucial role in the alleged land dealing.

"During the course of the investigation, it is found that Deshpande played a very crucial role in the illegal dealings of Iqbal Mirchi. She had played the role of broker in association with Ranjeet Singh Bindra, another accused in this case, between Iqbal Mirchi/Humayun Merchant and Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited," the ED said in its remand report.

ED also said that Deshpande acted on behalf of Iqbal Mirchi.

"The three properties appear to be proceeds of crime and derived directly or indirectly from the criminal activity related to the schedule offence and the accused person appears to have played an active role in laundering the proceeds of crime and hiding the criminal origins of the property," the report said.

Humayun Merchant was also arrested by the economic offences watchdog and sent to the ED custody till October 24 by a special court.

The investigating agency has identified the benami assets of Mirchi. The investigation has revealed that he has amassed various properties in India, the UAE, and the UK from the proceeds of crime.

The ED had earlier questioned former Union Minister and senior NCP leader Praful Patel in alleged connection with the case.

Mirchi's associates -- Haroun Yousuf and Ranjit Singh Bindra -- were remanded to the ED custody on October 12 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. (ANI)

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