News Source: www.hindustantimes.com
Tablighi Jamaat money laundering case: ED raids at four locations in Mumbai
News Source/Courtesy: www.hindustantimes.com

Enforcement Directorate (ED) authorities are conducting raids at four locations in Mumbai, including Andheri, in the Tablighi Jamaat money laundering case, according to a probe agency official.

The ED is probing the source of funding -- both at home and abroad --- for the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz, which was held at Nizamuddin in south Delhi between March 13 and 16 amid the early days of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in the country.

The funds were used for the religious congregation in Delhi and the travel of several Jamaat followers from over 20 countries in the world.

In April, the central agency had started its probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, on the basis of a Delhi Police’s Crime Branch’s first information report (FIR) registered against the Jamaat chief, Maulana Muhammad Saad, and five others on charges of violating nationwide lockdown restrictions that were enforced from March 25 in a bid to contain the spread of the viral outbreak.

The Jamaat’s source of funding is being probed by ED along with finances received by Saad from across the globe, said an official.

ED’s probe is also focussed on whether donations received by Markaz were part of money laundering and if it was routed via hawala or non-banking channels.

The Jamaat has offices and members in Mumbai and adjoining districts.

The ED raids are being carried out to collect more evidence on suspected money-laundering activities.

The probe is looking at the funds spent by the Jamaat authorities for organising various religious events across the country and also identifying the group’s members who handled the money.

The Central government had blamed Jamaat members as initial super-spreaders of the viral outbreak, when around 26,000 of their contacts were quarantined across the country.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had blacklisted around 1,500 foreign Tablighi members for violating their visa norms.

Multiple cases were registered against Jamaat members, across the country, including in Maharashtra, for spreading the contagious disease.

On the lines of the Nizamuddin Markaz, the Jamaat authorities had also planned a congregation of nearly 45,000 people in Maharashtra’s Vasai in mid-March, but the state government had denied them the permission to hold the event.

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News Source: www.hindustantimes.com

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