Representational Image. Photo: ANI
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday filed a chargesheet against several office bearers of Popular Front of India (PFI) in a special court in Delhi.
The chargesheet names accused members including Perwez Ahmad, President PFI Delhi, Mohammad Ilias, General Secretary PFI Delhi, and Abdul Muqeet, Office Secretary PFI Delhi
According to the ED, the accused persons has revealed that they have played an active role in bogus cash donations on behalf of PFI and in claiming and projecting PFI's unaccounted cash raised through unknown & suspicious sources as untainted & legitimate.
The Enforcement Directorate through Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Naveen Kumar Matta alongwith Advocate Mohd Faizan Khan filed the chargesheet in Delhi's Court.
"Fresh complaint under section 44 r/w section 45 of Prevention of Money Laundering (PML) Act for the commission of an offence under section 3 r/w section 70 of PML Act has been filed. It be checked and registered. Put up for consideration before the concerned court on November 21, 2022," the Session Court noted.
ED also stated that the PMLA investigation has revealed that as a part of a criminal conspiracy hatched by PFI office bearers over the past many years, suspicious funds from within the country and abroad have been raised by PFI and related entities and have been clandestinely remitted to India in a concealed manner and deposited in their bank accounts over the years.
"These funds have been raised as a part of the scheduled offence of criminal conspiracy. The funds so raised or collected by PFI are thus nothing but proceeds of crime which they have layered, placed and integrated through their numerous bank accounts as well as those of their members or sympathizers. Thus PFI and its related entities have been involved in the continuous offence of money laundering over the years," ED stated.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) earlier had alleged that Perwez Ahmad was part of a criminal conspiracy since 2018. "He admitted to having looked after the collection of funds in Delhi. Investigation revealed that such fund collection exercise was a sham and was falsely projected to be received from PFI sympathizers whereas statements of individuals, projected as contributors, revealed that these transactions were bogus. Hence, cash from suspicious sources was nothing but proceeds of crime generated out of criminal conspiracy," ED stated.
"The non-cooperative and evasive attitude of Perwez Ahmad along with his deliberate attempts to avoid joining the investigation in light of the fresh evidence viz. the statement of so-called donors and the evidence seized from various locations during searches, in this case, create further suspicion about his activities and involvement in money laundering activities," ED further stated.
"It is evident that Perwez Ahmad deliberately withheld disclosure of true facts and deliberately lied and tried to mislead the investigating officer during the recording of his statements under Section 50 of PMLA, 2002," ED stated.
ED earlier stated that the PMLA investigation against PFI in a matter registered in 2018 revealed that more than Rs 120 crores has been deposited in the accounts of PFI and related entities over the years and that a very large part of the same has been deposited in cash.
According to the ED, it has recently found inputs against the PFI for "organizing a training camp with an intent to cause disturbance during Prime Minster Narendra Modi's visit in Bihar's capital Patna on July 12 this year".
Besides, during the course of the investigation, the agencies have found details of numerous bank accounts of PFI.
The revelation came in two separate remand copies of the Enforcement Directorate, one submitted before a special judge in Lucknow against Muhammed Shafeeque Payeth, a resident of Kozhikode in Kerala, and the other against Perwez Ahmed before a Special Court in Delhi.
Both Payeth and Ahmed were arrested from Kerala and Delhi respectively on September 22 during the largest search operation conducted by a joint team of ED and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and state police forces, arresting 106 PFI members from 15 states.