ED arrests DHFL's Kapil Wadhawan in Iqbal Mirchi money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) formally arrested Kapil Wadhawan (pictured), former chairman and managing director of debt-laden Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL), for his alleged role in financing a loan to gangster Iqbal Memon (alias Iqbal Mirchi), supposedly also used for funding terrorism.

Wadhawan was produced in court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and remanded to the ED's custody for two days. 

Sources in the ED alleged he approved all payments to Mirchi. “He was looking after the finances at that point of time (in 2010) and had played a vital role in structuring the whole deal with Memon,” said an official. 

ED is investigating a money laundering case against Memon, linking his several property deals in Mumbai — these are being treated as proceeds of crime. Three of these properties were reportedly sold to Sunblink Developers, a company connected with Kapil’s brother, Dheeraj Wadhawan. 

An ED chargesheet filed last month in court had a series of details in this regard, naming the Wadhawans. The duo was said to have used DHFL to pay Memon, in the form of loans. 

At present, DHFL is undergoing proceedings under the insolvency law.  

The ED says after various meetings, Dheeraj Wadhawan entered into an agreement in March 2010 with Memon, where he agreed to acquire the development rights of the properties mentioned earlier. This was to be done through Sunblink, where Dheeraj's brother-in-law, Sunny Bhatija, was a director.

A deal was allegedly finalised for surrender of tenancy rights in favour of Sunblink for Rs 225 crore. The source of the amount paid in India towards the deal, Rs 111 crore, was arranged by  DHFL and RKW Developers. An earlier loan was taken from DHFL in 2010, repaid by the loan taken from RKW at an annual interest rate of five to six per cent, went the chargesheet.

The deal was on behalf of Mirchi but made no reference to him or showed a link. This establishes a larger conspiracy, says the ED. It says Dheeraj Wadhawan was a prime mover in this deal, ensuring payment to Mirchi in Dubai through a Culture Estate Llc, through both cheque and cash.  

The chargesheet further states Sunblink agreed to pay a Humayun Merchant, acting on behalf of Iqbal Mirchi, Rs 170 crore for purchase of the property and tenancy rights. And, that payment equivalent to Rs 154 crore was made by Sunblink to Mirchi in Dubai through a firm there of Dheeraj Wadhawan.

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