CFI leader Rauf arrested from Kerala funded journalist Siddique Kappan’s Hathras trip: ED

Kochi: An Enforcement Directorate (ED) report submitted in the Kerala High Court on Sunday alleged that National General Secretary of the Campus Front of India (CFI) K.A. Rauf Sherif funded Siddique Kappan’s trip to Hathras.

The Delhi-based Kerala Journalist was arrested on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where a young Dalit woman had died after allegedly being gang-raped.

The central agency said that funds were transferred to Ateequr Rehman’s (national treasurer of the CFI) bank account from Rauf’s for the purpose of making the trip.

The ED report further said that Rauf Sherif, who was detained from Thiruvananthapuram airport on Saturday, received foreign remittances of Rs 29.18 lakh during April-June 2020, when he was not in Oman (his place of work). 

The purpose of remittances appeared in the bank records as ‘Payments to hotels by nationals of all FATF-compliant countries or NRIs for their stay’, which was suspicious to the ED. The Ed said in the report, “It implies that Rauf Sheriff either owns a hotel in India or Oman for which payments were made by Naufal and Ramiz (the senders of the amount) though hotels were not operational during the April-June period this year due to Covid-19. Additionally, there are major high-value expenses by Rauf Sherif for land and vehicle purchases.”

The report also stated the Rauf holds three savings accounts in different banks, with his ICICI bank account showing a total debit and credit of up to Rs.1.53 crores for the years 2018-2020. 

ED alleged that he was evading summons for a probe in connection with criminal money laundering at the Popular Front of India (PFI), the parent party of the CFI, and that he was uncooperative with the investigation in their report to the court.

The Kerala High Court promptly remanded him for 14 days in judicial custody here on Sunday.