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7 day custodial probe of PFI leaders granted to ED by Special Court

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New Delhi, Sep 24: A special court in Delhi has allowed a 7 day custodial probe of the Popular Front of India leaders who were arrested this week.

106 leaders of the PFI were arrested from various parts of the country, the most being from Kerala following a pan-India raid by the National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate. The ED had sought before the Special Court the custody of these PFI leaders in order to interrogate them and the same was granted.

General Secretary of Popular Front of India Anis Ahmed (second, right) being produced to Patiala Court after a nationwide raid spearheaded by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in New Delhi

Raids were carried out across 15 states which led to the arrest of O M S Salam and this involved the coordination between the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate, the Intelligence Bureau and 86 platoons of para-military forces.

During the raids the NIA's primary focus was on the unlawful activities of the organisation while the ED chased down the source of funding. Since 2009 a sum of Rs 60 crore has been deposited into the accounts of the PFI and this includes cash deposits of nearly Rs 30 crore, the ED probe had learnt. The ED has attached 23 bank accounts of the PFI showing a balance of Rs 59,12,051 and 10 banks of the frontal organisation Rehab Foundation of India.

Keep it clean, keep it safe: How the federal agencies raided the PFI Keep it clean, keep it safe: How the federal agencies raided the PFI

Further the ED learnt that the PFI had been mobilising funds from networks in the Gulf and the money was routed in through illegal channels. This has been done as a part of a larger criminal conspiracy of PFI & its related entities to raise funds within the country and abroad to carry out various unlawful activities which have resulted in the registration of numerous FIRs and complaints against them,"a report filed by the ED had said.

"Investigation established that 'proceeds of crime' in the form of unaccounted and unexplained cash as well as foreign funds were parked in MVVP and were projected as untainted," the ED had also said.

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