Popular Front of India (PFI), the terrorist organization banned for anti-national activities in Bharat, managed most of its funds from Kerala. They set up paper companies that covered the money received from enemy nations and non-resident (NRI) backers. Janam TV reported about one such company called CFB Solution that undertook money transactions under the guise of an IT company.
PFI set up several shell companies with no commercial/service operations and little to zero assets that exist exclusively for financial reasons. To mask their criminal activities, international criminal organizations resort to complex economic methods and schemes to conceal their illicit proceeds. One of these methods is to set up shell companies. The primary criminal use of a paper company is money laundering.
CFB Solution was registered with the Registrar of Companies, Ernakulam, by two shady characters named Shafeer and Sirajuddin Sirajmanzil in October 2018. Both are PFI accountants and allegedly handled payments for PFI. Their registered office is at Batten Complex in Kozhikode, adjacent to the Nadakkavu police station and opposite Nadakkavu Juma masjid. National Investigation Agency (NIA) officers received information that CFB Solution received crores of rupees in foreign funds.
CFB Solution also has an office in the flashy yet controversial Uralungal Labour Cyber Park situated on the outskirts of Kozhikode city. Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society (ULCCS) is an extra-constitutional authority with ₹6,600 crores worth of assets allegedly controlled by Vijayan’s daughter Veena Vijayan and her husband, Kerala public works department (PWD) minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas. Two crore and eighty lakh rupees have arrived in the account of this CFB office from Gulf countries.
Shafeer was amongst the 100-odd PFI terrorists arrested by the NIA in late September and is now under remand. He was detained along with national and state leaders of PFI. NIA will question him again after receiving new information about the financial transactions. NIA officers had raided various centers in Kozhikode in connection with PFI fund collections for terrorist activities.
The CFB Solution website has gone offline.
PFI Modus Operandi
PFI, banned by the government for five years in September, had collected funds using different channels from Bharat and abroad. PFI members abroad used to amass funds in the name of assistance to Haj pilgrims, membership of its shell companies, real estate deals, owning pubs and bars, and selling used cars to terrorists. This money was moved to NRI accounts and then redirected to PFI members in Bharat.
HinduPost reported that NIA uncovered over 100 PFI bank accounts that do not fit the economic profile of the account users. Enforcement Directorate (ED) has evidence of PFI receiving over 100 crores in its bank accounts over the years, most of it deposited in cash. Monies received were then funneled through various sources to operatives on the ground.
In February 2021, K A Rauf Sharif, who had conspired to provoke caste violence in Uttar Pradesh over the Hathras tragedy, was arrested from Thiruvananthapuram Airport by a Special Task Force (STF) of the UP police. Sharif is PFI’s National Secretary of its youth wing, the Campus Front of India (CFI), and a qualified Chartered Accountant. He was nabbed while trying to flee the country.
Sharif was taken to Mathura and investigated for his role in the Hathras case involving his Delhi & UP-based PFI colleagues. Earlier, four other members of PFI who were apprehended from Mathura in UP had revealed that they were following the instructions of Rauf Sharif. The four arrested on October 5th, 2020, included the infamous Siddique Kappan from Malappuram, a ‘journalist’ associated with an online publication affiliated with the PFI. All these alleged terrorists are now lodged in Tihar jail, awaiting trial. Kappan has become a mini-celebrity in left-liberal circles, and even managed to get bail from Supreme Court through his influential Lutyenite lawyer-politician Kapil Sibal, although he continues to be in jail in another case.
PFI members in the Gulf countries assist Indian Muslims on the Haj pilgrimage in exchange for money. This money was sent to Bharat by all possible routes – usually, hawala or gold.
PFI members overseas allegedly also deposited money into NRI accounts from the UAE and other Gulf countries. After receiving the fund in the NRI bank accounts, the account holders transferred them to local bank accounts belonging to PFI leaders. Regularly sharing funds from a foreign country into someone else’s bank account in Bharat violates the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).
Saifu, a PFI member and a resident of Chavakkad, Thrissur district in Kerala, lives in Abu Dhabi, where he deals in real estate. It was found that he sent money to the accounts of PFI leaders in Bharat. Money earned through rent-a-car service was also transferred to Bharat.
It is alleged that UAE has several nightclubs and bars where alcohol and prostitutes are freely available. Some of these establishments were run by PFI members, who made vast amounts from this business which they re-routed to their PFI counterparts in Bharat.
In May this year, ED filed a prosecution case against Kerala-based PFI office bearers Abdul Razak Peediyakkal alias Abdul Razak BP and Asharaf Khadir alias Ashraf MK for money laundering of Rs. 22 crores. PFI terrorists had purchased various overseas properties, including Darbar Restaurant, a bar-cum-eatery in Abu Dhabi. These PFI leaders established a resort business in Munnar, in Kerala, to launder money acquired abroad. The proceeds were then routed to other PFI ground operatives and leaders to support their radical activities.
PFI was also active in Kuwait under the ‘Kuwait India Social Forum’ (KISF). KISF used to collect yearly membership fees from its members to support the activities of PFI in Bharat. From Oman, the National Development Front (NDF) sent around Rs 44 lakh through hawala channels to PFI members in Bharat. One Keralite, Ashfakh Chaikinakath Puayil, allegedly maintained all the account details. PFI has several Malayali members who live in Qatar, and they manage the Cultural Forum (CF). The money collected by these members in Qatar in the name of aid for Muslims was sent to PFI and its political outfit leaders in Bharat.
Last but not least, PFI used to sell used cars to IS (Islamic State aka ISIS) terrorists. A PFI operative named Muhammad Fahimi earned a large amount of money by selling used vehicles to IS and other terrorist groups in Syria. This money was later sent to Bharat through the hawala channel.
ED and the NIA are now unearthing different money-laundering operations of the PFI from Kerala. Last month, central Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned that terrorism financing has acquired dangerous proportions. He said that Bharat is committed to the objective of ‘No Money for Terror.’