Lulu Group of Malls owner Yusuff Ali is on ED’s radar
The UAE-based businessman and Lulu Group of Malls owner M A Yusuff Ali is now on the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for money laundering of a case related to the illegal routing of more than Rs.300 crores. Yusuff Ali’s role cropped up in Kerala’s controversial Life Mission, a project of building houses in a joint venture with the Kerala government and private firms from the United Arab Emirates.
The ED’s Kochi Office had served the summons to Yusuff Ali, the previous month to appear before them on March 1. As Yusuff Ali based in Abu Dhabi did not turn up, the anti-money laundering agency asked him to appear at the Kochi office on March 16. Yusuff Ali’s name cropped up in the recent revelations of controversial Swapna Suresh, former UAE Consulate staffer in Thiruvananthapuram caught for gold smuggling through diplomatic baggage. Swapna’s one-time partner and IAS Officer Shivasankaran, former Principal Secretary of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was also caught in the gold smuggling, misusing diplomatic baggage.
Later found the role of Shivasankaran in Kerala’s government’s dubious home-building scheme known as the Life Mission Scheme. This controversial housing scheme was floated as a joint venture with private partners. The private partners were mostly from UAE-based firms and some firms were linked to Yusuff Ali. ED summoned Yusuff Ali to question more than Rs.300 crore for illegal money routing and money laundering in the Life Mission Scheme.
Yusuff Ali from Kerala is having multi chains of Malls in UAE, known as Lulu Malls for the past 30 years. He is having good relations with Congress and Left leaders in Kerala. After BJP came to power in mid-2014, he established links with BJP leadership also, while maintaining his association with Congress and CPM leaders. Yusuff Ali linked firms had 94% shares in a Cayman Island-based firm and rest six percent shares were in the name of Vivek Doval, younger son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. In 2018, Yusuff Ali hosted Rahul Gandhi at his palatial home in UAE.
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