A Delhi court has taken cognizance of a charge sheet filed by the ED against the PFI and its officers
As of Monday, a special court in Delhi took cognisance of a charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its three jailed office-bearers – Perwez Ahmad, Mohammad Ilias and Abdul Muqeet, over a month after the government banned the organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
In February 2020, Ilias contested the Delhi assembly elections as a candidate of PFI’s political arm, the SDPI. With Muqueet, he was arrested by the Delhi Police for their alleged role in the disturbances in Delhi.
Following the ED, Ahmad, as the president of PFI’s Delhi unit, was responsible for the fund-raising activities of the organisation and also the organisation’s public relations. Several funds were mobilised by Ilias, the general secretary of PFI’s Delhi unit, for the NCR region on behalf of PFI and its related organisations, according to the ED.
Delhi PFI’s office secretary, Muqeet, was also involved in fund-raising activities and preparing bogus cash donation slips, according to the ED.
A search at their premises on September 22 resulted in the seizure of alleged incriminating documents by the ED and the NIA. The government banned the organisation following these raids.
An FIR registered by the NIA under the UAPA prompted the ED to initiate a money laundering investigation against the PFI and its office-bearers.
PMLA investigation revealed that PFI generated proceeds of crime through criminal conspiracy (Section 120B of IPC), both in India and abroad. As part of a larger conspiracy to raise funds for its unlawful and anti-national activities, the ED stated that these activities were detrimental to the state’s unity, integrity, and security.
According to the ED, the investigation revealed that the PFI is well-structured and organised in the Gulf countries to raise and mobilise funds clandestinely routed to India through underground and illegal channels. In its allegations, the agency has asserted that proceeds of crime were generated, placed, layered, integrated, and then projected as untainted funds in the bank accounts of the PFI.
There has been a provisional attachment of Rs 86.36 lakh lying in 24 bank accounts of the PFI and Rs 8.22 lakh in seven bank accounts of Rehab India Foundation – an organisation related to the PFI.
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