ED conducts raids at 11 locations in Hyderabad in OM Group charities case

Hyderabad: Directorateof Enforcement (ED), Hyderabad has conducted search operations at 11 locations in and around Hyderabad under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)-2002 in connection with irregularities in Operation Mobilization (OM) group of charities.

The ED initiated investigation on the basis of FIR registered by Telangana CID against Operation Mobilization group of charities and others for raising substantial funds of around Rs. 300 crore from foreign donors through Operation Mobilization and Dalit Freedom Network based in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Malaysia, Norway, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Romania, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland in the name of providing free education and meals to dalit and downtrodden children, studying in more than 100 good shepherd schools run by them, and diverting the said funds for asset creation and other unauthorised purposes.

The CID investigation revealed that suppressing the fact of sponsorship of students, tuition and other fees ranging from Rs.1,000 to 1,500 per month were collected from the students and substantial funds were put into fixed deposits and or diverted to other related entities of OM group.

Funds were also received from the government under the Right to Education Act but the same were not recorded properly and other incomes were grossly underreported in the books of accounts.

Preliminary investigation by ED revealed thatseveral suspicious transactions indicating diversion of the funds of the OM group of charities and multiple immovable properties of the key office bearers of the group spread across Telangana, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

The ED investigation also revealed that FCRA registrations for most of the group entities were not renewed and to bypass the same, foreign funds received in FCRA registered ‘OM Books Foundation’ were diverted to other group entities as loans which are yet to be repaid. PMLA investigation also revealed that office bearers of Operation Mobilisation group were employed as consultants with shellentities incorporated in Goa and were receiving salaries.

Searches at the premises of key office bearers and head office of the OM group of charities resulted in recovery and seizure of incriminating documents, digital devices, records of clandestine transactions and benami companies.In addition, several properties of the key functionaries of the OM group of charities, suspected to be acquired out of proceeds of crime, have been unearthed.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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