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ED likely to use Iqbal Mirchi’s seized property to run it’s zonal office

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 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to move it’s Mumbai zonal office to the two floors (third and fourth floor) of Worli-based Ceejay House, which belongs to the late drug dealer Iqbal Mirchi.

Ceejay House is a prime building in Mumbai and a number of politicians are running their offices from there. Millennium Developer Private Ltd, the company of former Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, had constructed this building. The top floor of the building is the residence of Patel.

The ED had lodged a case of Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Iqbal Mirchi, his family members and others which includes DHFL and it’s promoters. The probe agency had detected a few suspicious transactions related to real estate dealings following which the case was lodged.

The ED had recently moved before the concerned Mumbai court seeking its permission to confiscate Iqbal Mirchi’s properties worth Rs 100 crore. The two floors of Ceejay House are part of the total properties that had to be confiscated.

In February 2021, the concerned PMLA court had declared Mirchi’s wife Hajra and his two sons, Asif and Junaid, as fugitive economic offenders. The order was passed by the court to seize their property.

Now ED wants to shift its zonal office to the third and fourth floor of Ceejay House, which belongs to Mirchi and his family.

Sources have claimed that the ED officials have been visiting the Ceejay Building to make necessary arrangements so that their zonal office could be shifted. As of now ED is running it’s office from the Ballard Estate situated in the Kaiser-e-Hind Building.

Patel’s company, Millennium Developer Private Ltd, bought the rights of Mirchi’s Discotheque and Fishermen Wharf Pub in 2004. A deal was struck between the family members of Mirchi and the company in 2004. Following this deal the third and fourth floor of the Ceejay Buildings were given to Mirchi’s family.

There are 15 properties of Mirchi seized by the ED. As of now ED has not decided to auction his real estate.

Crime

Mumbai: Minor boy detained for raping 5-year-old girl in Nagpada; victim to get free education till 10th std

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A minor boy was detained for allegedly raping a 5-year-old girl in Nagpada and sent to a juvenile correction centre.

He was detained within six hours of the crime.

Free education till 10th standard for victim

The Nagpada police officials have collected Rs 1.10 lakh for the victim and have made provisions for giving her free education till the 10th standard.

A case has been registered under sections of IPC and POCSO.

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Crime

Teachers scam: WhatsApp chat hinting question paper leak recovered

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 The Enforcement Directorate (ED), probing the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam, has recovered WhatsApp chats hinting at possible advance leaking of question papers to select candidates who took the written examination for primary teachers’ posts in West Bengal in 2016.

Sources said that the selective leaking of question papers were mainly done by the youth Trinamool Congress leader, Kuntal Ghosh, who was arrested by the ED from his residence on January 21.

The probe agency has also recovered Whatsapp chats indicating that Ghosh enjoyed the patronage of former state education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

From the documents seized from Ghosh’s residence, the central agency officials have also recovered copies of the admit cards of certain candidates who appeared for the recruitment examination for primary teachers in 2016.

The ED sleuths have come across the names of 35 individuals who secured jobs as teachers in state- run schools by paying money to the arrested youth leader and all of them are currently employed with different schools. Each and every one of them will be questioned to take the investigation forward.

“The recruitment scam seems to be in multiple layers, which again have sub-layers involving multiple players and multiple angles. The uncovering of one layer is leading to other layers. That’s why the investigation process is getting prolonged,” said a legal associate of ED.

The fact that question papers were leaked to select candidates was established after the ED sleuths noticed that some extremely below-average candidates, as per their academic records, scored exorbitantly in the recruitment examination.

Sources said that the marks secured in their academic examinations did not justify their scores in their optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets.

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Crime

Israeli fighter jets strike Gaza in response to rockets firing

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Israeli fighter jets on Friday carried out a series of airstrikes on facilities belonging to militant groups in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from the coastal enclave, witnesses said.

Israeli army drones and fighter jets were heard buzzing in the air, and several explosions were heard in central Gaza Strip, the witnesses told Xinhua news agency.

They added that more than 14 missiles were fired at a military post that belonged to Gaza militant groups.

Palestinian medical sources said that no injuries were reported during the strikes that mainly targeted posts and facilities that belong to the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

The airstrikes were in response to the firing of two rockets at southern Israel, said a spokesman from the Jewish state’s army.

No group has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets, which was a response to the killing of nine Palestinians during an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp, deemed to be the most deadly in nearly two decades.

During the Israeli airstrikes on Friday, militants in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave also fired at least five rockets at southern Israeli communities close to the borders with the Gaza Strip and anti-craft missiles were fired at Israeli fighter jets by Hamas militants, sources close to Hamas security told Xinhua.

Media outlets in Gaza quoted an Egyptian source as saying that Egyptian intelligence is in intensive contact with the Palestinian factions to prevent an escalation in Gaza.

More than 170 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2022, and at least 29 have been killed in January this year, according to figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

According to the UN, 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2006.

The tensions have been further aggravated since Israel’s most right-wing government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took office last month.

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