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ED summons PFI Chairman & six others

According to agency’s probe, Rs 120.5 crores was credited in 73 bank accounts maintained by PFI (27), its related entity namely Rehab India Foundation (9) and certain individuals/entities (37). Agency claims that its investigation has found out that the said amount was withdrawn “on the same day or within two to three days leaving very nominal balance in these bank accounts”.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 28, 2020, 09.05 PM IST
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ED has further alleged that PFI made payment of Rs 1.17 crores to a partnership firm in Tamil Nadu which engages in business of plastic/bags.
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NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned the Chairman of Popular Front of India (PFI) and six others linked to the organisation in connection with its ongoing money laundering probe.

The agency has recently sent its probe report to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) alleging a link between PFI and protests against Citizenship Amendment Act in Uttar Pradesh.

The Central agency has claimed that PFI financed the violent CAA protests and has sent its probe report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). PFI, on Monday, rubbished the charges calling them "baseless".

According to agency’s probe, Rs 120.5 crores was credited in 73 bank accounts maintained by PFI (27), its related entity namely Rehab India Foundation (9) and certain individuals/entities (37). Agency claims that its investigation has found out that the said amount was withdrawn “on the same day or within two to three days leaving very nominal balance in these bank accounts”.

It is further alleged that “the mode of deposits in the bank accounts were mainly cash deposit, RTGS/NEFT and IMPS transactions. These bank accounts have reflected rare transactions through cheques”.

An internal probe report prepared by the agency alleges that the “scrutiny of deposits in the bank accounts of PFI in Syndicate bank, Nehru Place has revealed a new trend of huge and multiple cash deposit in the districts of Western Uttar Pradesh (UP) namely Bharaich, Bijnor, Hapur, Shamil, Dasna etc”.

It adds, “in these bank accounts cash deposits of Rs 41.5 crores were made. Cash deposits were mainly made in 27 bank accounts of PFI which represented almost 50 percent of total deposits i.e total deposit of Rs 59 crores has included in the deposits of Rs 27 crores”.

ED has further alleged that PFI made payment of Rs 1.17 crores to a partnership firm in Tamil Nadu which engages in business of plastic/bags. The said payment is being investigated by ED. Another receipt of Rs 20 lakhs received by PFI’s related entity from Dubai is also under the scanner, added sources.

Alleging that PFI has “mobilized cash for organisizing demonstration against CAA”, the agency’s probe alleges that 15 bank accounts of PFI and five accounts of an entity related to PFI received Rs 1.04 crores within a month after the Parliament cleared CAA (December 4 last).

“The deposits were in form of cash and Immediate payment service (IMPS) using mobile and deposit amounts varies from Rs 5,000 to Rs 49,000. The amount of deposit was kept Rs 50,000 in order to avoid the disclosure of identity of the depositor”, reads ED’s report.

It further says that Rs 1.34 crores were withdrawn from the said 15 bank accounts during December 4 last and January 6 this year by way of cash and NEFT/IMPS using mobile. The report further claims that “withdrawals were made by transferring the money of small amounts varying from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 on multiple occasions during a day to several individuals. Instances have been noticed that on certain days like on December 12 and 21, 2019 more than 80 and 90 withdrawals respectively were made from a single account”.

ED has alleged that “money was withdrawn immediately before the date of demonstration or during the day of demonstration…the withdrawal of money from the bank accounts of PFI and its related entities has a direct correlation with a violent demonstration against the CAA”.

ED has concluded that “the money trail has proved beyond doubt that PFI has mobilized the money to finance the cost of demonstration/gherao against CAA till January 6”.
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