A day after appearing before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), businessman Raj Kundra, husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, on Thursday said that he has "no dealings" with the close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and he has explained his case to the central probe agency.
In a detailed statement, Mr Kundra said, "I do not owe any explanations to anyone, however, I am disappointed with the way some media channels have twisted the facts to make scandalous headlines."
Mr Kundra said that he was disappointed at the way his wife's name was being dragged into this just for TRPs to soar. He was questioned by Enforcement Directorate officials for over nine hours under the sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The ED action came after the central probe agency zeroed in on a real estate firm, RKW Developers Private Limited, controlled by Ranjit Singh Bindra, which had transactions with Essential Hospitality Limited, where Mr Kundra and Ms Shetty are directors.
"In 2011, I negotiated to sell a plot that I owned near the airport to RKW Developers whose director was Dheeraj Wadhawan and all my dealing and correspondence that time was with Dheeraj only," Mr Kundra said, talking about his business dealings.
He pointed out that in 2013, he transferred his company Essential Hospitality that owned the plot to RKW Developers against full and final payment.
"No loans were taken in this company and it was completely debt free when we sold the same to RKW," Mr Kundra said.
"In March 2019, I was looking to make investments in the F&B sector. Ranjit (Singh) Bindra (arrested accused in the property dealings case with late Iqbal Mirchi) approached me because he heard I was interested in this space with an offer to invest in his restaurant Bastian," he said.
The businessman said that "I had been a regular patron at this popular restaurant and decided to invest into the same buying a 50 per cent share stake along with management rights".
He said he was called in by the ED to provide information on the above two deals for which he has done the same and will continue to do so if need be.
"I have never had any dealings or know personally any underworld people and its upsetting to see such names attached with mine," Mr Kundra said. He also thanked his friends and well-wishers who stood by him.
Ranjit Singh Bindra, was arrested on October 11 from Mumbai, along with Haroun Yusuf, former chairman of a dubious trust. They were both said to be close aides of Iqbal Mirchi. According to the ED, Bindra was instrumental in the property deals worth Rs 225 crore of Iqbal Mirchi and his family members and also securing unsecured loan to the Sunblink Real Estate Pvt Ltd to the tune of Rs 2,086 crore, was arrested on October 11.
The ED has so far questioned former Union minister and senior NCP leader Praful Patel and Iqbal Mirchi's son in connection with the case.