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INDIA SEIZES AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL'S PROPERTIES OVER MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES

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Indian authorities on Tuesday seized the human rights group Amnesty International's properties worth more than $2 million over money laundering charges.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached movable properties worth 170.6 million Indian rupees of Amnesty International Indian chapter in connection with an alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), The Hindustan Times reported.

“Directorate of Enforcement (ED) issued a Provisional Attachment Order under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) attaching bank accounts of M/s Amnesty International India Pvt. Ltd. (AIIPL) and M/s Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT) as both the entities have acquired the proceeds of crime and layered the same in the form of various movable properties. The said Provisional Attachment Order involves attachment of movable properties worth ₹17.66 crores being proceeds of crime,” the ED said in an official statement on Tuesday.

“It is prima facie found that M/s Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd. and others have obtained foreign remittances to the tune of Rs51.72 Crores in the guise of Export of services and Foreign Direct Investments from M/s. Amnesty International (UK) whose source is the donations from the individual donors,” the statement further noted.

The international human rights group halted work in India in September 2020, accusing the government of having frozen its bank accounts as punishment for speaking out about alleged rights abuses.

The amnesty said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had blocked its accounts on September 10, forcing it to lay off its India staff after two years of fending off allegations of financial wrongdoing, which it said were baseless.

London-based Amnesty has highlighted human rights violations in recent months in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) region by occupation forces.

Critics accuse Modi’s conservative nationalist government of stifling dissent in IIOJK and pushing a Hindu-first agenda, undermining the secular foundations of India’s democracy and raising fears among its 170 million Muslim minority.