ED plans money laundering probe against PFI activists

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate plans to launch money laundering investigations against the alleged activists of the Kerala-based Popular Front of India (PFI) who face serious criminal charges, including cases under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The Prevention of Money Laundering Act’s schedule lists various UAPA provisions as predicate offences, empowering the agency to probe the money trail. The move, a senior official said, is on the lines of recent measures taken by the agency against terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir.The Directorate has also started a money laundering probe against Naxal operatives in coordination with the affected States. Earlier this month, it attached assets worth ₹86 lakh of an alleged Naxal leader operating in the Bihar-Jharkhand region. “Similar action is being taken against extremist elements in the north-eastern States,” said the official.As submitted before the court by the Kerala government, PFI activists have been allegedly found involved in over two dozen murder cases, 86 attempt-to-murder and more than 100 communal cases. The State police have also arrested a large number of activists.Under PMLA, the ED has powers to attach the properties that are detected as proceeds of crime. The initiative is expected to choke the funds being generated from, and used for, criminal activities, said the official. The National Investigation Agency has also registered cases against alleged PFI activists. In one case, in which Professor T.J. Joseph’s right hand was chopped off in July 2010, the agency alleged that the role of 54 persons has been detected. Another case pertained to an alleged criminal conspiracy to train some young men in the handling of weapons and explosives in April 2013. The NIA alleged that the training was being given with an intention to prepare them for terrorist activities and to “commit acts endangering the unity and integrity of the nation.” Last year, the NIA had submitted a report to the Union Home Ministry documenting the charges against PFI members. The organisation has refuted the allegations.last_img

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