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Thursday, June 1, 2023

ED files chargesheet against two PFI leaders for laundering money to fund radical activities

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a supplementary chargesheet against two leaders of the Popular Front of India (PFI) under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before a special PMLA Court, Lucknow, officials said.

Earlier, a prosecution complaint (chargesheet) had been filed by the ED on February 6, 2021 against five members of PFI and its student wing Campus Front of India. Cognizance of the offence of money laundering was taken by the court against all the accused.

The supplementary chargesheet has been filed against PFI leaders Abdul Razaq Peediyakkal alias Abdul Razak BP and Asharaf Khadir alias Ashraf M.K.

They, in association with other PFI leaders and members associated with overseas entities, were allegedly developing a residential project – Munnar Villa Vista Project (MVVP) at Munnar, Kerala with a motive to launder money collected from foreign countries as well as within the country and to generate funds for PFI to finance its radical activities. 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.

ED learnt in the investigation that Abdul Razak BP, a long time dedicated member of PFI and its related entities, who also served as PFI Divisional President for Perumpadappu, Malappuram, Kerala, was a key figure representing such organizations in the Gulf countries and was actively involved in the fund raising activities of PFI in India & abroad.

As per the investigation, Ashraf M.K., member of PFI Kerala State Executive Council (previously PFI President of Ernakulam District), an accused in Professor Joseph hand chopping case of 2010, actively participated in the activities of PFI’s related entities such as SDPI, CFI, etc. He was also involved in the funding of PFI as well as the related entities.

He was the owner of Darbar restaurant in Abu Dhabi which served as a money laundering front of PFI. However, to conceal the laundering of proceeds of crime through Darbar restaurant, he did not disclose the fact of ownership of Darbar restaurant before the government authorities. Both are accused of collecting and laundering funds to the tune of Rs 22 crore for the PFI.

They fraudulently transferred the funds through underground and illegal channels. While part of the said funds was parked in the MVV project as well as in TISPL and was projected as “untainted”, a large part was used by PFI and its related entities to carry out their “continuous radical and unlawful activities”.

Some PFI members were allegedly planning to form a terrorist group and were collecting deadly weapons and explosive devices to simultaneously launch attacks on many important and sensitive places and personalities in Uttar Pradesh with an intent to challenge the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation and to disturb communal harmony.”

Further investigation regarding the money laundering activities of PFI and its related organizations and the use of such funds in various unlawful activities is underway.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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