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Enforcement Directorate corners Congress leader Baba Siddique

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken under its scanner a few relatives and close aides of former Congress legislator Baba Siddique in connection with Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case registered against him.

Meanwhile, the ED is also scanning through all the seized documents and looking to establish a money-trail between the real estate developer, who was named in the FIR, Siddique and some of the 158 beneficiaries of the Bandra reclamation based Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project.

On May 31, the ED had raided seven locations including the offices and residence of former state minister and Congress leader Baba Siddique.

The ED is investigating financial irregularities in a slum redevelopment project in Bandra. The FIR against him was registered in 2014, and the ED began investigations under PMLA after registering a case earlier this month.

In addition to Siddiqui, the residence and offices of Rafiq Qureshi of Pyramid Developers were also raided.

The case came to light in 2012, after a social activist approached the Bandra magistrate court asking them to direct the police to register an FIR against Rafique Qureshi of Pyramid Developers for major irregularities in the rehabilitation project of the Jamaat-e-jamooria slum in Bandra.

He alleged that Qureshi was acting under the guidance and protection of then MLA Baba Siddiqui. He alleged that the irregularities took place when Siddique was the chief of the Maharashtra Housing And Area Development Authority (MHADA) in 2002.

In 2014, the Bandra police station, acting on a court order, registered an FIR against three people including Siddiqui.

Sources in the ED revealed that they had seized bank documents and property papers from the Siddique residence.

“We will be questioning people in his (Siddique) family regarding the property deals,” said a source. The sources added that they were in the process of scanning bank transaction details of the real estate developer Qureshi.

“We are going through all his bank records, which were seized from the house. We have also asked them to submit details of transactions from 2002 when the property redevelopment is said to have begun. It’s a long process, and we will see if there were financial irregularities and investigate if the real estate developer received funds from abroad,” he said.

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