PFI obtained ill-gotten gains from members residing abroad: ED

The ED has been looking at the PFI, its office bearers, and members since 2018 . The ED has been looking at the PFI, its office bearers, and members since 2018 .

New Delhi: According to the ED, some PFI members who are abroad are reported to be sending funds to their NRI accounts in India and then transferring them to the operatives of the radical Islamic organisation's leaders in order to defy the foreign funding regulations law, a day after countrywide raids against the group.During the raids led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the federal department arrested four members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) on Thursday.Perwez Ahmed, Mohd Ilias, and Abdul Muqeet (arrested from Delhi) and Shafeeque Payeth, who was detained by the ED from Kerala, have been named.During the multi-agency operation that involved multiple state police forces and their anti-terrorist forces, more than 100 PFI members were arrested.

The ED funds alleged to be remitted by the PFI overseas are remitted to India through hawalaunderground channels and by remittances sent to membersactivistsoffice bearers of the PFICFI and other related organizations.The funds received from abroad are secret from government departments, and PFI is not required to comply with such collections and contributions, according to the agency because they are not a registered organization under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).Payeth, who was previously based in Qatar, allegedly followed the same procedure, transferring funds from abroad to his NRI account in India, and then making payments to PFI member Rauf Sherif (Rs 21 lakh) and Rs 16 lakh to a consortia named the Rehab India Foundation (RIF).The ED raided Payeths premises in Kerala's Kannur district in December last year, and the department also interrogated him as part of summons issued to him earlier.

Following Thursday's sweep of the agencies, the PFI stated that the claims made against it were baseless and sensationalist, and that they only served to create a fear atmosphere.The ED has been looking at PFIs' alleged financial links with the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act demonstrations, the Delhi riots of February, 2020, and the plot to kill a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, among other things.Over the years, the PFI and its related businesses reportedly received more than Rs 120 crore in cash, according to the PFI.The corporation was established in Kerala in 2006 and has its headquarters in Delhi.

The ED filed its first chargesheet against the PFI and its student wing Campus Front of India (CFI) in February last year, charging that its members wanted to incite communal riots and spread fear in the aftermath of the suspected Hathras gang rape case of 2020.