The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is conducting a money laundering investigation against radical Islamic organisation Popular Front of India (PFI), told a Kerala court on Thursday, December 24, that its probe has so far disclosed that the outfit has received over Rs 100 crore in its bank accounts over the years.
The central agency made the submission in a special court for the Prevention of Money Laundering cases, besides seeking custody extension of PFI's student wing leader K A Rauf Sharif, apprehended in connection with the money laundering probe.
Examining ED's application, the court prolonged Sharif's custody for three more days. The agency, in its affidavit it submitted, stated that the source and disbursal of these funds is under investigation.
"The investigation conducted by the Directorate against PFI has so far revealed that more than Rs 100 crore has been deposited in the accounts of PFI over the years and that a large part of the same has been deposited in cash," the ED said.
It also alleged that since 2013, PFI has been indulging in various scheduled offences and the money transfers and cash deposits have also significantly increased after 2014.
The investigation also revealed that PFI has been involved in anti-CAA protests and funds during the period of December 2019 to February 2020 may have been used for this purpose, the affidavit said.
ED also mentioned that the role and involvement of PFI members in the Delhi riots in February this year came to its notice in the ongoing investigation into the money laundering in the riots.
"There are also indications that PFI has linkages with the recent violence in Bangalore city in which its political wing - SDPI - has been found to be involved. PFI has also been involved in various cases in the past in which public order was disturbed and various offences of grave nature were committed by members of the organisation," it said in the affidavit.
ED, which carried out searches at the offices of PFI and at the residences of its office-bearers across India, said incriminating documents and digital devices were seized during the raids. It alleged that PFI has been collecting huge amounts of funds abroad and that targets for foreign collection of funds had also been fixed.
Seeking custody of Sharif, national general secretary of PFI's student wing, the ED said it was evident that the outfit and its associated organisations like CFI have been continuously involved in money laundering and have been using the proceeds of crime to commit unlawful activities across India.
Sharif's non-cooperative and evasive attitude, along with his deliberate attempts to avoid joining the inquiry and to flee the country, triggered further suspicion about his activities and involvement in money laundering activities, the ED submitted.
He was produced before a special court as his seven-day custody granted to ED last week ended on Thursday. When Sharif informed the court that he was mentally tortured by the agency, the judge warned and directed ED not to repeat it.
The agency arrested Sharif after he was apprehended by authorities at Thiruvananthapuram airport a fortnight ago.
(With PTI inputs.)
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