The People’s Front of India (PFI) has been involved in continuous money laundering offenses over the years, the Enforcement Branch told a Delhi court on Friday that dismissed three arrested bureau members from the outfit prohibited to 14 days of police custody.
The agency also said its investigation revealed that the accused persons had taken an active role in collecting or receiving bogus cash donations on behalf of PFI.
The agency arrested the three defendants, Perwez Ahmad, chairman of PFI Delhi, Mohd. Ilias, General Secretary of the Delhi unit, and his office secretary Abdul Muqeet on September 22 for their alleged roles in the crime of money laundering under the guise of cash donations.
Further Sessions Judge Shailender Malik remanded the three defendants to 14 days in police custody after they were brought before him following their seven days of interrogation in custody.
The ED, in its referral, said the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) investigation revealed that, as part of a criminal conspiracy by members of the PFI office over the past few years, suspicious funds from home and abroad had been collected by PFI and related entities,
He also said the funds were smuggled to India and deposited in their bank accounts.
Elaborating further, the agency said the funds were layered, placed and integrated through the organization’s numerous bank accounts as well as other PFI members or supporters.
Thus, PFI and its related entities have been implicated in the ongoing money laundering offense over the years, ED said.
Investigation of the defendants revealed that they took an active role in (collecting or receiving) bogus cash donations on behalf of PFI, ED added.
The defendant also claimed and projected the unaccounted money from PFI, received through unknown and suspicious sources, as legitimate, he said.
As the investigation into the case continues and requires the collection of additional information as well as the review of large data from digital devices, the court may grant custody of the defendant, according to the request for remand.
In addition, custody was also required to ensure that the defendant did not influence witnesses or tamper with evidence, the request states.
Earlier, on September 24, the court had granted seven days of emergency custody for the three defendants.
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