Delhi court remands PFI office bearers to ED custody

Published on Sep 24, 2022 11:39 PM IST

Additional sessions judge Shailendra Malik on Friday (please check) sent Perwez Ahmad (president), Md. Ilias (general secretary) and Abdul Muqeet (office secretary) to ED custody after the agency produced them following their arrest on Thursday.

A city court sent the president, general secretary and office secretary of the PFI, Delhi to seven-day ED custody. (PTI)
A city court sent the president, general secretary and office secretary of the PFI, Delhi to seven-day ED custody. (PTI)
By, New Delhi

A city court sent the president, general secretary and office secretary of the Popular Front of India (PFI), Delhi to seven-day Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody in connection with their alleged involvement in the offence of money laundering in the guise of cash donations, officials familiar with the development said on Saturday.

Additional sessions judge Shailendra Malik on Friday (please check) sent Perwez Ahmad (president), Md. Ilias (general secretary) and Abdul Muqeet (office secretary) to ED custody after the agency produced them following their arrest on Thursday.

The court noted that since the charges are serious custodial interrogation would be necessary.

“Having considered the submissions and having gone through the record of the investigation carried out till now, I find that investigation is at very initial stage and all efforts regarding tracing the details of receiving of cash donation, purpose of the same and implementation of that money used as well as the source of the same is required to be investigated thoroughly,” Special Judge (NIA), Shailender Malik said in an order dated September 23.

“Therefore, taking into consideration the entire circumstances and facts, custody of the accused persons be handed over to ED for one-week police remand with directions for conducting prior medical examination of each accused persons…,” the judge added.

On Thursday, in a coordinated operation across 15 states and one Union territory, NIA, ED, and state police forces carried out simultaneous raids across the country that began around 3am and continued till 2pm.

The agency had sought custody for 14 days saying that the PFI leaders are required to be confronted with the statements and the recovered documents in this case. Forensic examination of mobile phones seized from their premises is also required to be done in their presence, the ED told the court.

ED stated in court that they need to be investigated for their indulgence in the processes and activities connected with proceeds of crime, including its concealment, possession, acquisition and use.

“Their custodial examination under this Directorate’s custody is imperative to unearth the role played by them & others in money laundering and unlawful activities, to investigate the source of suspected funds, to decipher the money trail and the modus operandi employed for layering, placement & integration etc,” the ED told the court.

In its remand papers given to the court on Friday, the agency said that the PFI Delhi president, since 2018, was part of a criminal conspiracy and has admitted to having looked after the collection of funds in the capital. HT has seen the remand report filed in courts in Delhi.

“Investigation revealed that such fund collection exercise was a sham and was falsely projected to be received from PFI sympathizers whereas statements of individuals, projected as contributors, revealed that these transactions were bogus. Hence, cash from suspicious sources was nothing but proceeds of crime generated out of criminal conspiracy,” ED said.

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