New Delhi, May 18: The investigations being conducted into the empire of Iqbal Mirchi is not only important in the fight against black money, but it also leads up to the financial racket of the notorious don turned terrorist, Dawood Ibrahim.
The Rs 3000 crore that had been parked in various countries by Iqbal Mirchi was on behalf of the D syndicate and with the Enforcement Directorate tightening the noose around these funds, the end result is sure to hurt Dawood and company.
ED has tracked Rs 3000 crore
The Enforcement Directorate has tracked down money to the tune of Rs 3000 crore that has been parked by Mirchi before he died in the year 2013. Rs 1500 crore worth of betting money, Rs 1000 crore in drug deals and Rs 500 crore in property deals is what the ED has gathered information on so far.
The network is vast and spreads across several countries. Money has been parked in London, where Mirchi was residing before he died, there are bank accounts in Singapore, Cyprus, Turkey, Spain and Morocco as well.
It was only recently that the ED discovered the sale of a sea facing property at Worli, Mumbai which Mirchi's family members are alleged to have sold off for several crores. The ED is also hot on the trail that Mirchi and his family members allegedly parked money in India as well.
Probe will hurt Dawood Ibrahim
Rs 3000 crore is no small sum. Although Mirchi had all through denied having any links with Dawood, investigators in India are certain that he was parking money on behalf of the don apart from taking a giant's share himself. India had sent several letters to London about Mirchi, but the process never went through and his extradition was turned down.
This was largely to do with the fact that the Scotland Yard had given Mirchi a clean chit and found no underhand dealings undertaken by him. However Indian Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that Mirchi was a smart operator and knew how exactly to move around money without being traced.
The Enforcement Directorate which has been tasked with finding the exact money trail and also bringing back the money is confident. The IB officials say that at least 80 per cent of this money has been parked on behalf of the Dawood Syndicate and once brought back it will hurt the don very badly. All this money has been parked over a period of ten years and is withdrawn when the need arises.
If this money is brought back to India then the D Syndicate becomes poorer by at least Rs 3000 crore. This money is used to strike property and drug deals. Freezing of such a big amount would mean that the D Syndicate's financial infrastructure takes a beating.
Help needed from abroad
For the ED to successfully complete this probe, it would require the assistance of foreign agencies. It has written to the authorities in London, Cyprus, Turkey, Spain, Singapore and Morocco. There is ample proof of the money trail given to them, an ED official confirmed.
The money has been parked in banks and hence it is the agencies of these respective countries which will have to first freeze those accounts and then give the money back to India.
Moreover if this probe is successful, it would also pave the way for the Indian government to bring back the other money parked by various criminals and terrorists abroad. This is the kind of money which is funding terrorist activities and if one does notice the money trail in terror cases it is always routed from abroad.
Money trail in India to be tracked
For the Enforcement Directorate which has issued notices to some family members of Mirchi, it would be equally important to track the money from India. The money has clearly moved through a hawala broker in Delhi.
This broker whose name is withheld in view of the ongoing investigations has been associated with Mirchi for nearly a decade. He was the one who routed the money into and out of India several times for Mirchi.
The money would be routed out through the hawala network and very often the trail has led to London and also Singapore. There have also been instances where the same operatives have routed money into Mumbai from London via New Delhi, ED officials also point out.