NIA raids premises linked to Popular Front of India supporters in Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar

Searches were part of a nationwide drive against those linked to the banned outfit; 16 places in Dakshina Kannada searched to find evidence of fund transactions

May 31, 2023 08:32 pm | Updated June 01, 2023 12:38 am IST - MALAPPURAM

The Kerala headquarters of the Popular Front of India in Kozhikode. File

The Kerala headquarters of the Popular Front of India in Kozhikode. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) searched a few houses at Kondotty and Nilambur in Kerala’s Malappuram district on Wednesday. The raids were part of a nationwide drive against those having links with the bannedPopular Front of India (PFI).

The raid on the house of one Shareef at Chanthakkunnu, Nilambur, lasted several hours. NIA sources claimed that they seized several incriminating documents and unaccounted money to the tune of several lakhs of rupees in the raid.

The investigators also searched the premises of a PFI sympathiser, Munneer at Kunjathur in Kasaragod, based on the information provided by Abid, who was arrested on March 7.

The agency also simultaneously searched 16 places in Dakshina Kannada. According to sources, searches were carried out in Bantwal, Uppinangady, Venur and Belthangady. Digital evidence regarding money transaction was collected.

Multi-State ‘hawala’

An NIA team also searched the premises of a PFI leader’s relative in the Katihar district of Bihar.

Earlier, the agency had arrested five persons for allegedly being part of a multi-State “hawala” network that was being used by the PFI to route funds, particularly in Kerala, Karnataka and Bihar.

“A PFI funding-by-hawala module operating out of Bihar and Karnataka with roots in the United Arab Emirates has been busted with the arrests of the five accused,” an agency official had said.

The agency alleged that funds collected from Dubai and Abu Dhabi were transferred to four PFI leaders in India. The money was deposited in various bank accounts.

(With inputs from Kasaragod, Mangaluru and Patna)

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