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Iqbal Mirchi hawala ring: ED sends first LR to UK

 The ED has sent a Letters Rogatory (LR) to the United Kingdom as part of its global probe into suspected terror funding and hawala operations of late Iqbal Mirchi, a longtime associate of fugitive Pakistan-based don Dawood Ibrahim.



New Delhi: The ED has sent a Letters Rogatory (LR) to the United Kingdom as part of its global probe into suspected terror funding and hawala operations of late Iqbal Mirchi, a longtime associate of fugitive Pakistan-based don Dawood Ibrahim.

The overseas judicial request dispatched recently by the Enforcement Directorate through diplomatic channels has sought to obtain information on the finances, bank accounts and assets of Mirchi and his associates which are suspected to be created by him illegally in the foreign country through dubious ways like hawala.

Sources privy to the development said the LR has been issued after vetting from the Union Finance and Home ministries and has been prepared after some preliminary information conducted by the central probe agency in coordination with their counterparts in London.

Apart from UK, the agency is already in touch with few more countries like UAE, Spain, Cyprus, Turkey and Morocco as part of the overseas judicial requests.

The agency, which has recently launched a multi-level probe into the Rs 3,000 crore slush funds ring, has already issued notices to two sons and the widow of Mirchi, his relatives, lawyers and business associates in connection with its investigation conducted under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

As part of the latest LR, the sources said, ED has sought all "available documents and material" which are related to Mirchi and other suspects it has identified in this probe.

Mirchi, who died in 2013 in the UK, is suspected to have laundered and moved funds through the hawala route to purchase a host of properties in at least 10 or more countries with the help of his associates.

The agency had earlier also written to the Mumbai police Crime Branch, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra land records authorities seeking their cooperation in this probe that involves about 50 tainted assets in over 10 countries, a clutch of about 40 firms in the country and abroad and a maze of at least 20 bank accounts in India and some private banks overseas.

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