India: Politician arrested at Kerala airport in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate said the PFI leader was 'trying to flee the country'



By ANI

Published: Sat 12 Mar 2022, 6:19 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Mar 2022, 6:25 PM

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested a PFI member from Kerala’s Kozhikode airport while he was “trying to flee the country” as the agency probes him in a money laundering case linked to alleged raising of foreign funds for “anti-national” activities, official sources said on Saturday.

The immigration authorities at the airport had intercepted Abdul Razzak BP, a divisional president of the Popular Front of India’s Perumpadappu unit in Malappuram, on March 9, acting on an Enforcement Directorate lookout circular (LOC) issued against him.

“He was purposefully misinformed by the ED officer to make him a scapegoat to arrest him. The deceptive act of the ED is highly condemnable and sheds light on the modus Operandi of the ED,” PFI Kerala state president, C P Muhammed Basheer, said in a statement.

The next day, the agency produced him before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Lucknow which remanded him to seven days of ED custody, the agency officials said.

Premises linked to Razzak and others were searched by the federal probe agency in December last year and “incriminating documents were seized.”

Razzak has been accused by the ED of “raising funds from abroad as well as within the country for PFI’s anti-national activities.”

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The PFI has called the arrest “illegal and ill-motivated”.

“Even after appearing before ED for five days for questioning and cooperating with the investigation, the officials issued the LOC with an ulterior motive and didn’t clear his LOC after completion of the investigation against him.”

“He was purposefully misinformed by the ED officer to make him a scapegoat to arrest him. The deceptive act of the ED is highly condemnable and sheds light on the modus Operandi of the ED,” PFI Kerala state president, C P Muhammed Basheer, said in a statement.

Post the December raids, the ED had issued a statement to say 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 had said.

The organisation was formed in 2006 in Kerala and is headquartered in Delhi.

The ED has been investigating the PFI’s alleged “financial links” on charges of fuelling the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the country, the Delhi riots that took place in February 2020 and a few other instances.

Also, his role in connection with purported illegal funding to “disturb communal harmony and incite riots” post the alleged gang rape and death of a Dalit woman in 2020 in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras is under the scanner of the agency.

The ED had filed a charge sheet in this case before a Lucknow court in February last year.


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