New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said that it has provisionally attached at least 33 bank accounts of Popular Front of India (PFI) and its organization Rehab India Foundation (RIF) in the ongoing investigation against them in the money laundering case.
A total amount of Rs 68,62,081 has thus been provisionally attached under Section 5 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
“ED has provisionally attached 23 bank accounts of PFI having a collective balance of Rs 59,12,051 and 10 bank accounts of PFI’s front organization RIF having a collective balance of Rs 9,50,030 in the ongoing money laundering investigation against PFI and its related organizations,” the probe agency said in a statement.
ED investigation revealed that a huge amount of monies including cash from questionable sources have been received by PFI and RFI.
“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,” it said.
Further, an investigation by ED revealed that PFI, in active collusion with other associated accused persons has indulged in the laundering of proceeds of crime in terms of Section 3 of PMLA, 2002.
“Proceeds of crime mobilized in the form of cash have been deposited in its bank accounts by falsely projecting them as cash donations from sympathizers/members. Similarly, in order to obliterate the fund trail and circumvent the regulatory rigour, proceeds of crime were mobilized in the form of cash and deposited by PFI leaders in the bank accounts of various individuals and immediately thereafter these funds were transferred from bank accounts to PFI’s bank account,” the ED said.
The investigation also revealed that PFI was covertly mobilizing funds through a well-organized network in Gulf countries as part of a criminal conspiracy and these proceeds of crime were secretly and clandestinely sent to India through underground and illegal channels and by way of foreign remittances into the bank accounts of sympathizers, office bearers, members and their relatives and associates in India and thereafter these funds were transferred to the bank accounts of PFI, RIF, other individuals and entities.
“In this way, the proceeds of crime have been placed, layered & 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 the commission of scheduled offences over time and the filing of chargesheets and conviction of its members/office-bearers,” the probe agency further said.
ED has already filed a prosecution complaint on February 6, 2021, and a Supplementary Prosecution Complaint on May 6, 2022, against members or office-bearers of PFI and Campus Front of India before the Special PMLA Court in Lucknow.
The Court has taken cognizance of the offence of money laundering against all the accused persons.