PFI funding: NIA conducts searches in 17 places in Dakshina Kannada, Kasaragod

  • Wednesday's searches linked to the five arrests made in Bihar on March 7
  • The five persons were accused of sourcing money from the UAE and distributing it to PFI's leaders and workers using hawala network
Photo: Onmanorama/Canva

Kasaragod: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided the houses of 17 suspected activists of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) as part of its investigation into a multi-state hawala network, said intelligence officials.

Simultaneous inspections were conducted at Mangaluru, Puttur, Belthangady, Uppinangady, Venur, and Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka and Kunjathur in Kasaragod's Manjeshwar.

"These raids were linked to the five arrests made by the NIA at Phulwari Sharif in Patna on March 7," said a central intelligence official.

On March 7, NIA arrested Mohammed Sinan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Iqbal, and Abdul Rafeek M of Dakshina Kannada, and Abid K M of Manjeshwar in Kasaragod from Phulwari Sharif. They are still in prison.

In a press statement, NIA alleged that the five persons were part of a multi-state hawala network and were "actively involved" in moving PFI's illicit funds sourced from the UAE to the organisation's leaders and workers.

The Union government banned the organisation on September 27, 2022. But by "following the money", NIA investigators found that Iqbal and other associates had been collecting funds from Dubai and Abu Dhabi and handing them over to Mahammad Sinan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Abdul Rafeek M, and Abid K M in India, said the statement.

Sarfraz Nawaz and Sinan were making the deposits in the bank accounts of the accused and suspects in the PFI case, the press statement said.

During the investigation, Abid dropped the name of his friend Muhammed Muneer (40) of Kunjathur.

Muneer runs a mobile shop at Thalappady on the Kasaragod-Dakshina Kannada border. Searches were conducted at his house on Wednesday, said the intelligence officer.

NIA said it was on track to choke the international and domestic funding channels of the banned PFI. The agency has not yet released an official statement on the searches and the seizures made on Wednesday.

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