Special court allows ED for 7-day custodial probe of Delhi PFI leaders

24 September, 2022 | Pranay Lad

PFI Headlines

Perwez Ahmad, the president of PFI Delhi, Md. Ilias, the general secretary of PFI Delhi, and Abdul Muqeet, the office secretary of PFI Delhi, have been granted a seven-day custodial interrogation b...

Perwez Ahmad, the president of PFI Delhi, Md. Ilias, the general secretary of PFI Delhi, and Abdul Muqeet, the office secretary of PFI Delhi, have been granted a seven-day custodial interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with their involvement in the crime of money laundering under the guise of cash donations.

In this scenario, the statements and the tendered/recovered papers must be presented to the three parties. According to the ED, mobile phones taken from their property must also undergo forensic analysis in their presence.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed on Friday that Perwez Ahmad, President of the Delhi PFI since 2018, was a participant in a criminal conspiracy while seeking remand for three office bearers of the Delhi Unit of the Popular Front of India (PFI).

He acknowledged managing the money collection in Delhi.

Investigations found that this fund-raising effort was a ruse that fraudulently claimed to have support from PFI members; nevertheless, comments from those who were supposed to be donors showed that these transactions were fraudulent. As a result, money obtained from dubious sources was nothing more than the product of illegal activity.

In light of new evidence, such as the statements of alleged donors and the evidence seized from various locations during searches, Perwez Ahmad’s evasive behaviour, and unwillingness to cooperate with the investigation, as well as his deliberate attempts to avoid cooperating, have raised more questions about his involvement in money laundering, according to the ED.

It is obvious that Perwez Ahmad purposefully hid information that was relevant to the investigation, lied to the investigating officer, and attempted to mislead them when his comments were being recorded in accordance with Section 50 of the PMLA, 2002.

When asking for the three accused to be kept in custody, ED said that they needed to be probed for their involvement in the concealment, possession, acquisition, and use of profits of crime.

Their examination while in the custody of this Directorate is crucial to determining the role they and others played in money laundering and illegal activities, determining the source of any allegedly missing funds, to unravelling the money trail, and to figuring out the methods used for layering, placements, and integration, among other things.

For the Enforcement Directorate, attorneys Zoheb Hossain and Naveen Kumar Matta appeared before the special court on Friday. All three defendants were remanded for 7 days after Additional Sessions Judge Shailender Malik took note of the ED’s attorneys’ petition.

The ED further stated that more than Rs 120 Crore had been deposited in the accounts of PFI and related entities over the years, with a significant portion of that amount being deposited in cash. This information was discovered during the PMLA investigation against PFI in a matter registered in 2018.

Read more: Crackdown on PFI: UP ATS arrests 6 members, recovers objectionable literature