The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached at least 33 bank accounts of quasi-terrorist Islamist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) and its front organisation called Rehab India Foundation (RIF) as part of an anti-money laundering investigation against them.
The accounts hold more than ₹68 lakh. The orders have been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). 23 accounts of PFI having ₹59 lakhs and 10 of RIF having ₹9.5 lakhs have been attached.
RIF claims to work for ‘rehabilitating the marginalised section of rural India’ and has managed to embed itself within the country’s mainstream CSR-NGO ecosystem, as we had uncovered in an earlier HinduPost investigative report. Setting up such frontal organizations doing social work is a common tactic of supremacist Islamist organisations to soften their image and fool ordinary people. Similarly, the Pakistani terror group LeT carries out relief and charitable work through JuD (Jamaat-ud-Dawa).
ED has said that huge amount of cash from questionable sources were received by PFI and RIF.
“An amount of more than Rs 60 crore have been deposited in the accounts of PFI which includes cash deposit of more than Rs 30 crore since 2009. Similarly, around Rs 58 Crore have been deposited in the accounts of RIF since 2010,” ED said in a statement.
The favored modus operandi of PFI seems to be laundering proceeds of crime in the form of cash which were deposited in its bank accounts by falsely projecting them as cash donations from members. At other times, the money generated through criminal activities was deposited in bank accounts of various individuals and immediately thereafter these funds were transferred to PFI’s bank account.
PFI also mobilized funds through its network in Gulf countries. These funds were sent to Bharat through underground and illegal channels and by way of foreign remittances into the bank accounts of sympathisers, office bearers, members and their relatives, who transferred them to the bank accounts of PFI, RIF and other 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. This has been done as a 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 chargesheets and conviction of its members / office-bearers,” added the statement.
The ED has already filed two chargesheets against office-bearers and members of PFI along with Campus Front of India before the Special PMLA Court in Lucknow.
ED has charged Kerala-based PFI office bearers Abdul Razak Peediyakkal alias Abdul Razak BP and Asharaf Khadir alias Ashraf MK, for money laundering of Rs 22 crore. The two established a property business in Munnar, Kerala, to launder money acquired abroad and support the organization’s radical activities. Razak was arrested in March from Kozhikode airport while attempting to leave the country. Ashraf was arrested in Delhi last month.
There have been reports of PFI involvement in the Kerala gold smuggling case too.
It is pertinent to note that in January 2020, ED had reported that at least Rs 120 crore were transferred across 73 bank accounts linked to PFI after the CAA law was passed by Parliament in December 2019. It is suspected that these funds were used by PFI affiliates to fuel anti-CAA protests in various parts of UP.
PFI is seen by many security experts as a successor to the no banned SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India). It was founded in 2006 in Kerala after merging several Islamic groups, and is headquartered in the notorious Shaheen Bagh area of Delhi. Many of the group’s sympathisers also support the Taliban and it’s real goal is believed to be the same as that of SIMI – to establish sharia rule all across Bharat.