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April 24, 2024
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PMLA Case Involving Gangster Iqbal Mirchi: Real Estate Broker Bindra’s Discharge Plea Rejected


Last Updated: March 30, 2024, 00:25 IST

Special PMLA judge MG Deshpande rejected Bindra's discharge application on Thursday. (Representative image)

Special PMLA judge MG Deshpande rejected Bindra’s discharge application on Thursday. (Representative image)

The court said Bindra had “active participation in layering the proceeds of the crime”

A special PMLA court in Mumbai has rejected the discharge application of real estate broker Ranjeet Bindra in the money laundering case involving late gangster and drug smuggler Iqbal Mirchi.

The court said Bindra had “active participation in layering the proceeds of the crime”.

As per the Enforcement Directorate, Bindra negotiated with Mirchi on behalf of Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited and finalised property deals and got brokerage of Rs 30 crore. Bindra played a “crucial role” in the deals connected to these three properties, the ED said.

Special PMLA judge MG Deshpande rejected Bindra’s discharge application on Thursday, noting the accused had concrete knowledge of the properties he was dealing with and how they were acquired and managed by Iqbal Mirchi through his associates like Humayun Merchant (a co-accused) and others.

“This knowledge coupled with active participation in layering the proceeds of crime clearly indicates the applicant (Bindra) is not entitled to be discharged. Charges have to be framed against him and he has to be tried accordingly,” the court said.

Bindra, in his discharge plea, contended he simply acted as a broker like other professionals involved in the transactions but was singled out as the accused. He asserted he had no involvement in the offence of money laundering.

The ED opposed the application and argued that discharging Bindra prematurely while investigations were going on would amount to jumping to conclusions.

The court noted that the PMLA probe found these properties were acquired using the proceeds of crime generated from various activities of Iqbal Mirchi, and illegal funds were transferred using bank accounts opened on the basis of falsified KYC information.

The crime was executed skilfully with the intention of concealing ultimate beneficiary Iqbal Mirchi, the court said citing the ED’s probe report.

Based on multiple FIRs registered under Indian Penal Code and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act against Mirchi, the ED had registered a case against him, his kin and others.

Mirchi, who died at the age of 63 in London in 2013, is accused of buying properties in India using money obtained from illegal activities and then selling these for redevelopment.

Three family members of the gangster were beneficiaries of assets earned by Mirchi through proceeds of crime, the ED’s complaint stated.

He had purchased three real estate assets, namely Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion, in 1986, as per the ED.

The court, while rejecting Bindra’s plea, said there were ample grounds for proceeding against the applicant by framing charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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