On Friday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) approached the special court for soliciting to declare three family members of the deceased gangster Iqbal Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi as “fugitive economic offenders” in interrelation with a money laundering probe.
Under the Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act,2018 , an application was moved which seeks to declare Memon’s sons Junaid and Asif as well as his wife Hajra as “fugitive economic offenders”.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sought that 15 of their properties in India and six bank accounts with a balance of Rs. 1.9 crore be sequested. The properties owned by the three mentioned two floors of Ceejay House at Worli in Mumbai, which values approximately Rs. 96 crores.
The three Junaid, Asif and Hajra have been accused in a money laundering probe by the ED prevailing to properties worth Rs. 200 crore belonging to the late gangster, which were ostensible to the proceeds of crime derived from direct or indirect criminal (illegal) activities, including 30 years of smuggling and extortion, before he fled the country.
The ED initially had arrested Kapil Wadhawan, a member of a trust that has purportedly sold the properties and the brokers who were part of the entire deal and also the promoter of Dewan Housing Finance, in the case. The concerned agency had also tentatively attached assets to the time of Rs. 798 crore in the country and overseas under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ED, in it’s application against Junaid, Asif and Hajra had said that the non-bailable warrants were issued by the Special Court and since then they have been evading probe.
Under the FEO Act, an application is filed under the specific provisions conceive to empower the investigating authority to attach and confiscate properties, assets of alleged economic offenders, who from the very beginning have fled the country and are not available and co-operating in the probe and prosecution to be followed.
Similar decisions were made and orders were passed while declaring Nirav Modi and Vijay as fugitive economic offenders since the act was brought into effect. The court now can very conveniently pass orders to impound properties of such accused after declaring them fugitive economic offenders.