ED slaps FEMA notice against Kashmiri businessman

The NIA had filed a chargesheet in this case in January this year.

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday issued a FEMA show-cause notice to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali, arrested by the NIA in an alleged terror funding case, for purported illegal forex violations to the tune of over Rs 62.93 lakh.

According to sources the Central agency said its probe under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) revealed that Watali was “working as a conduit for foreign contributions of Jammu and Kashmir-based terrorist organisations.”

“Watali maintained non-resident external (NRE) and non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts by mis-declaring himself as an NRI and later transmitted foreign remittances of Rs 62,93,711 during 2002-03 to 2008-09 in these accounts from overseas destinations. Further, he could not provide satisfactory reasoning for source of funds collected overseas and subsequent remittances to India,” sources said.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested Watali from the national capital in August last year after it conducted multiple searches on separatist leaders and others in the Kashmir valley and few other places on charges of terror-funding. The NIA had filed a chargesheet in this case in January this year. On Watali’s role, it has said he was an “active channel to receive foreign contributions from Pakistani establishment and terror organisations for further remittances to Hurriyat leaders and secessionists of Jammu and Kashmir to wage a war against the government.”

The ED has also filed a money laundering case, based on this NIA FIR, and is probing the role of Watali under this law too.

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