The ED is probing the case under sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
New Delhi/Srinagar: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted searches at several locations in Srinagar in an alleged terror funding and hawala case involving funds of over Rs 20 crore.
Sources said ED sleuths conducted searches at many premises connected to one Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad. They said Sheikh’s house in Ahmad Nagar and his firms identified as Al Khuddam Tours and Travels and M/s Ferozsons Exports Pvt Ltd in Srinagar were searched. “Agency sleuths have also recovered certain documents related to foreign firms during searches,” sources said.
Ahmad is alleged to have export proceeds of over Rs 20 crores as “outstanding” for 2014-15, even as the agency claimed the exporter was “not cooperating” with it. The ED suspects the funds that are allegedly unrealised to the exporter from foreign shores are suspected to be in violation of FEMA and RBI rules. “The suspect being investigated has not been providing any documents and help that was sought from him as part of the probe. The searches had to be conducted to gather evidence,” they said.
The ED is probing the case under sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act. As the export proceeds are outside India and the exporter has not made any attempt to bring it back to the country, it is suspected this money could have been used for terror funding and in hawala transactions, wherein legal banking channels are skirted to route tainted money. The central agency had roped in the state police to conduct the searches, they said.
The ED is also investigating a money-laundering case for alleged terror financing against Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah. The ED recently arrested Srinagar-based Mohammad Aslam Wani, an alleged hawala dealer, in connection with the case against Shah, who is now in judicial custody. Earlier, on August 3, a Delhi court had allowed the ED custody of Shah after the agency alleged he was “ruining” the country by using money to fund terror. Shah was arrested by the ED a day after several Hurriyat leaders were taken into custody by the National Investigating Agency in a case of alleged terror funding in the Valley to fuel unrest. Investigating agencies like the NIA have cracked down on Hurriyat leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, also known as Altaf Fantoosh, and six other Kashmiri separatists.