ED searches 26 locations in 9 states linked to PFI (2nd Ld)

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday carried searches at 26 premises in nine states linked to Popular Front of India (PFI) as part of its money laundering probe.

The searches were conducted at the residences and offices of the top PFI brass, including its chairman O.M.A. Salam and Kerala state president Nasarudheen Elamarom, in connection with its money laundering probe into the PFI’s fundings, sources said.

An ED source related to the probe told IANS: “The searches are being conducted in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi.

The source said the searches were being carried out in at least 26 locations of these states under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to collect evidence with regard to multiple money laundering cases that have been clubbed into one, being probed against the PFI and those linked to it.

The source said in Kerala, the ED carried out searches at the residential premises of PFI national chairman Salam, properties of PFI secretary Nasaruddin Elamarem at Malappuram while another team of the ED officials began a search at the house of another top PFI leader Ashraf Moulavi in Thiruvananthapuram.

The source said the searches were being carried out in south east Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh and Jamia area on the official premises of the PFI, and at two locations in Bihar’s Purnea and Darbhanga districts on the offices of PFI.

The financial probe agency is investigating the PFI’s “financial links” on alleged charges of fuelling the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests in the country and its role in the northeast Delhi riots in February this year.

The ED had earlier recorded the statement of Salam, a senior assistant in the Kerala State Electricity Board, and a number of other PFI office bearers in Delhi since January this year.

Meanwhile, the searches come within a fortnight after the ED said that it was also probing the alleged links of the Bhim Army with the PFI.

In a tweet on November 20, the agency had said, “The ED is investigating financial links between PFI and Bhim Army on the basis of credible evidence recovered from senior PFI officials.”

The PFI was formed in 2006 in Kerala and is headquartered in the national capital.

The ED has also probed the role of former AAP councilor Tahir Hussain in connection with the northeast Delhi riots.


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