Enforcement Directorate probing acquisition of foreign assets, resto-bar in Abu Dhabi by PFI leaders
The Kerala Police had said that it registered a case against some PFI activists for allegedly trying to create trouble during the ED raids in Muvattupuzha.
NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating the "acquisition" of some foreign assets, including a bar-cum-restaurant in Abu Dhabi, by Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders after the seizure of some documents in recent raids against its members in Kerala as part of a money laundering case, the agency said on Saturday.
The raids were carried out on December 8 at the residences of Shafeeque Payeth, a member of PFI and its linked outfit SDPI at Peringathur in Kannur; Abdul Razak BP, a PFI divisional president of Perumpadappu, Malappuram; Ashraf M K alias Tamar Ashraf/Ashraf Khader, a PFI leader based in Muvattupuzah, Ernakulam; and the office premises of Munnar villa vista project at Mankulam in Munnar, the ED said in a statement.
It said the PFI attempted to "disrupt the search operations" but the agency officials assisted by CRPF personnel seized "incriminating documents, digital devices and evidences related to foreign funding and acquisition of properties abroad."
The Kerala Police had also said on the day of the searches that it registered a case against some PFI activists for allegedly trying to create trouble during the ED raids in Muvattupuzha.
The ED stated in the statement that the seized documents "indicate about the money laundering activities of PFI through various projects in Kerala including the Munnar villa vista project which is being built by the PFI leaders to launder proceeds of crime generated in India and abroad."
"Acquisition of foreign properties by PFI leaders, including a bar and restaurant in Abu Dhabi, has come to the notice of the Directorate (ED), which is under investigation," it said.
PFI general secretary Anis Ahmed, on the day of the raids, had issued a video message claiming the ED action was aimed at "harassing" them and the organisation will fight this through "legal and democratic means".
The ED has carried out similar raids against the PFI in the past too.
The Islamic organisation was formed in 2006 in Kerala and is headquartered in Delhi.
The central probe agency has been investigating the PFI's alleged "financial links" on charges of fuelling the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in the country, the riots in Delhi that took place in February last year and a few other instances.