New Delhi, June 1 (Ajit Weekly News) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday that it has attached 23 bank accounts of Popular Front of India (PFI) having collective balance of over Rs 59 lakh, and 10 bank accounts of PFI’s front organisation Rehab India Foundation (RIF) having collective balance of over Rs 9 lakh as part of its the ongoing money laundering investigation into PFI and its related organisations.
Thus, a total amount of over Rs 68 lakh has been provisionally attached under Section 5 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED investigation revealed that huge amount of money, including cash, from questionable sources have been received by the PFI and the RFI.
“An amount of more than Rs 60 crore has been deposited in the accounts of PFI since 2009, which includes cash deposit of more than Rs 30 crore. Similarly, around Rs 58 crore has been deposited in the accounts of RIF since 2010,” said an ED official.
During the investigation, the ED learnt that PFI, in active collusion with other associated accused persons, indulged in laundering of proceeds of crime.
The ED has alleged that the proceeds of crime mobilised in the form of cash were deposited in its bank accounts by falsely projecting them as cash donations from sympathisers.
“Similarly, in order to obliterate the fund trail and circumvent the regulatory rigour, proceeds of crime were mobilised in the form of cash and deposited by PFI leaders in the bank accounts of various individuals and immediately thereafter these funds were transferred from bank accounts to PFI’s bank account,” the official said.
The ED alleged that PFI was covertly mobilising funds through well-organised networks in Gulf countries as part of criminal conspiracy and these proceeds of crime were secretly and clandestinely sent to India through underground and illegal channels and by way of foreign remittances into the bank accounts of sympathisers, office-bearers, members and their relatives, and thereafter these funds were transferred to the bank accounts of PFI, RIF and other individuals, entities.
“In this way, the proceeds of crime have been placed, layered and integrated and therefore projected as untainted money in the bank accounts of PFI as well as RIF,” the ED official said.
“This has been done as part of a larger criminal conspiracy of PFI and 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, complaints against them for commission of scheduled offences over time and the filing of charge sheets & conviction of its members, office-bearers,” the official added.
The ED had already filed a charge-sheet on February 6, and a supplementary charge-sheet on May 6 against members/office-bearers of PFI and Campus Front of India before a special ED court in Lucknow.
The court had taken cognisance of the charge of money laundering against all the accused persons.
–Ajit Weekly News