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Sunday 5 July 2020

Markaz sent money abroad too; police hand over evidence to ED

Delhi Police unearthed documents from the raid at the Nizamuddin Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat, which the ED would be more competent to decipher

Close on the heels of finding out that head of Nizamuddin Markaz Maulana Muhammad Saad used to receive money from several anti-India forces from abroad, Delhi Police has found evidence the markaz used to send money to overseas accounts too. The police have handed over the evidence of its finding to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that will proceed against the Islamic centre for its economic offences.

The crime branch recovered documents written in Urdu during the raid from the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat. During their initial investigation, the police learnt that Maulana Saad and his associates in the Tablighi Jamaat were conduits also for sending money overseas. The money tranches are entangled in many layers, which a competent agency like the ED could handle better.

Based on the documents supporting the finding Delhi Police has supplied, the ED has questioned five people so far.

The ED is investigating also the source of funding to the Tablighi Jamaat. After questioning the people close to Maulana Saad, it will issue a notice to the markaz honcho as well.

According to our sources in the investigating agency, the people who have been questioned include Maulana Saad via his confidante Javed, a money changer who converts foreign money into Indian currency, and a travel agent who books tickets for members of the Tablighi Jamaat.

Interrogating these people, the ED found some important facts even as the agency is still translating all the documents from Urdu to Hindi. In addition, the ED has sought information about Saad’s holders of bank accounts with which that of the markaz (Bank of India, Nizamuddin branch) frequently held transactions.

Sources say that during the investigation so far, the ED has got the transaction records of only a year. But it wants bank transactions of the last 10 years, which can reveal the source of funding for Tablighi Jamaat.

ED wants to know

  • the source of money for Tablighi Jamaat
  • recipients of the money sent abroad
  • the authority in Tablighi Jamaat that sanctioned the transactions
  • the routes other than banking, especially the illegal routes, that the jamaat uses for sending and receiving money
  • the foreign accounts from which money was sent to the Nizamuddin Markaz
  • the method of spending the money
  • the signatory who instructs how to spend the money

According to sources, the ED tried to get the information above from the Income Tax department and other monetary agencies.

During the investigation so far, no trust has been found in the name of Tablighi Jamaat. Therefore, the ED wants to know whether the money was spent and on whose instructions.

Given that the needle of suspicion points at Maulana Saad, the ED will issue a notice to Saad to join its probe after questioning people close to the absconding maulana.

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