ED traces suspicious flow in PFI accounts, claims its funding anti-CAA agitation
NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate is probing a series of financial transactions involving Popular Front of India (PFI) as part of a widening probe into the alleged role of the controversial Islamist outfit in fanning anti-CAA protests.
A preliminary probe done by the anti-money laundering agency has established a suspicious pattern of deposits into and withdrawal of money from PFIs accounts. The ED has claimed that Rs 1.04 crore was deposited in 10 accounts of PFI and five belonging to another entity, Rehab India Foundation, between December 4 last year and January 6 when protests against the change in the citizenship law were most intense in UP and elsewhere. The period saw Rs 1.34 crore being withdrawn from the accounts in multiple small transactions: ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, between December 4 and January 6.
ED sources said the transactions were deliberately kept small to dodge suspicion, with PFIs bank accounts witnessing as many as 80-90 withdrawals in small amounts on a single day.
The CAA dimension is part of a larger focus that extends to the source of Rs 120 crore credited into PFIs bank accounts. The money was deposited in small instalments through ATMs and mobile wallets in what the ED suspects to be an effort to conceal the identity of the depositors. The money deposited was immediately taken out, again in small amounts, leaving a very nominal balance in the accounts.
A scrutiny of transactions from PFIs account in Syndicate Banks Nehru Place branch in New Delhi showed multiple cash deposits totalling Rs 41.5 crore from 27 accounts in the districts of Hapur, Shamli, Dasna and Bijnor in western UP, as well as Bahraich.
The PFI denied the allegations with its general secretary M Muhammed Ali Jinnah saying the claims were absurd and a face-saving act by the Uttar Pradesh police.
These details are part of a report the ED submitted to the home ministry on Sunday evening. The ministry is seized of a recommendation by the UP government to declare the PFI unlawful in the light of its alleged role in inciting violence in the state during the anti-CAA agitation. The EDs preliminary report will serve to reinforce UPs demand to declare the PFI unlawful.
“Withdrawal of money from the bank accounts of PFI and its related entities has direct correlation with a violent demonstration against the CAA. The transaction dates in the 15 bank accounts of the PFI also match the dates of violence. This draws a clear connection between the violent protests and PFI,” the ED said in its report to the MHA.
The report also mentioned a payment of Rs 1.17 crore made by PFI to Jothi group, a plastic making firm. “Since PFI and the company are working in two different areas, the nature and reason for this transaction is under investigation. A transaction of Rs 20 lakh between Rehab India Foundation and another firm is also under the scanner,” it added.
The report also mentioned a payment of Rs 3.1 lakh to a terror accused named Abdul Samad who was arrested two weeks ago by Delhi Polices special cell. Investigation by the special cell, sources claimed, found that Samad was associated with PFI and was inspired by the IslamicRead More – Source