Gujarat businessman under UP ATS scanner

A Gujarat-based businessman has come under Uttar Pradesh ATS scanner in connection with the funding of the illegal religious conversion racket, allegedly run by Islamic Dawah Centre chief Umar Gautam.

According to ATS, Abdullah Fefdewallah from Bharuch in Gujarat, is a member of Al-Fala Trust, which was the main source of funds to run the racket.

Inspector General of Police, ATS, G.K. Goswami, said, “We have identified transactions worth Rs 57 crore made by Al-Fala Trust through hawala and other means. All the transactions as well as the people associated with the UK-based trust were being scrutinised.”

Abdullah came in touch with Umar Gautam through Salahuddin Jainuddin, an associate of Gautam, in 2002. Later, the three started working together.

Umar Gautam and Jainuddin are currently under seven-day remand of the Vadodara police in connection with a case of religious conversion.

“We are working in coordination with Gujarat police to trace the whereabouts of Abdullah,” he said.

ATS sources said Abdullah had the citizenship of the UK. His associates, Mustafa Sheikh from Dubai and Imran from Mumbai (Maharashtra), allegedly made contributions to the Al-Fala trust.

The ATS officials said when the arrested accused were asked about the source of Rs 57 crore funds, they failed to give a satisfactory reply.

The illegal conversion racket was active in 24 states and 16 people have been arrested so far, officials said.