ED suspects ex-Cong MLA used proceeds to invest in properties, hotel.
Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is conducting a into probe into the alleged Rs 500 crore Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scam in Bandra Reclamation, suspects that former Congress legislator Baba Siddique laundered money made from the project to make investments in Dubai, UAE and Australia.
The ED is currently gathering details about the alleged investments made into properties and hotel business by using the scam’s proceeds.
The proceeds allegedly pertain to the SRA redevelopment scam in which Jamaat-e-Jamooriyat colony at Bandra Reclamation was redeveloped, and 26-storey luxurious tower ‘La 88’ was constructed.
The ED has already sought Siddique’s property documents and is in the process of ascertaining the money trail in the case. Officials said that his recent visit to London was also under the scanner of the ED. Siddique was grilled for over nine hours on Friday and his statement was recorded, after he returned from London.
“Siddique has business interests overseas, and we are probing his investments in some countries. The investigation is focused on the source of funds used there,” said an ED officer on condition of anonymity. The preliminary probe also revealed that several crores were allegedly diverted towards residential and commercial properties in Dubai and in hotels at Australia.
Officials are in the process of ascertaining the details of investments and the money trail. The ED will summon Siddique for further questioning soon, officials added. The agency will begin the process of recording statement of Rafiq Suresh and Feroz Mithiborwala, directors of Siddique’s front company Pyramid Developers. Pyramid Developers redeveloped the Jamaat-e-Jamuriyat chawl colony under the SRA scheme.
The ED had also conducted raids and searches at seven locations including Siddique’s residence in May when he was at London. The agency seized loads of documents pertaining to the redevelopment project, which are also being probed, officials said. Siddique cleared the redevelopment project when he was chief of Maharashtra housing and area development authority (MHADA). The ED’s FIR was based on a 2014 case registered by the Bandra police on the directions of the court.
Background of the case