A local court in the national capital has remanded three members of the Popular Front of India Delhi unit to seven-day custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Additional Sessions Judge Shailender Malik sent PFI Delhi president president Perwez Ahmad, General Secretary of PFI Delhi Md Ilias and Office Secretary of PFI Delhi Abdul Muqeet to seven-day ED custody.
ED sought custody of the accused, stating that PMLA investigation against PFI in a matter registered in 2018 revealed that more than Rs 120 crore have been deposited in the accounts of PFI and related entities over the years and that a very large part of the same has been deposited in cash.
The agency said their custodial examination was imperative to unearth the role played by them and others in money laundering and unlawful activities, investigate the source of suspected funds, decipher the money trail and the modus operandi employed for layering, placements and integration.
It said the accused were required to be confronted with the statements and the tendered/recovered documents in this case. Besides, the national agency said it will go for forensic examination of mobile phones seized from the premises of the accused, in their presence.
ED apprised the court that Perwez Ahmad has been part of a criminal conspiracy since 2018 and admitted to having looked after the collection of funds in Delhi.
The agency alleged that such fund collection exercise was a sham and falsely projected to be received from PFI sympathisers whereas statements of individuals, projected as contributors, revealed that the transactions were bogus.
It added that cash from suspicious sources was nothing, but proceeds of crime generated out of criminal conspiracy.
As per ED, the non-cooperative and evasive attitude of Perwez, along with his deliberate attempts to avoid joining the ongoing investigation in the light of the statement of so-called donors and the evidence seized from various locations during searches, further pointed suspicion towards his activities and involvement in money laundering activities.
It further alleged that Ahmad deliberately withheld disclosure of true facts, lied deliberately and tried to mislead the investigating officer during the recording of statements under Section 50 of PMLA, 2002.
The agency apprised the court that the accused were required to be investigated for their indulgence in the processes and activities connected with the proceeds of crime, including its concealment, possession, acquisition and use.
ED was represented by Advocates Zoheb Hossain and Naveen Kumar Matta