Militancy funding: Several people, NGOs on ED radar in J&K for buying properties

New Delhi, Mar 8: The Enforcement Directorate probing 13 money laundering case in Jammu and Kashmir related to militancy funding has identified at least six persons who bought properties in the state with the money linked to alleged 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
According to the financial probe agency sources, the ED has identified several properties bought from the money transferred to the six people and several NGOs in the state from the Paksitan-based militant and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jammat-ud-Dawah chief Saeed.
An ED source related to the probe requesting anonymity said: “We have identified six persons, who acted as the front to buy properties in the state.” The source identified two of the six suspects — Aftaab and Naeem, both residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The source said that the six persons came on the agency’s radar after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case of militancy funding in May 2017. The anti-terror agency had on January 18 last year filed chargesheet against 12 persons, including LeT founder Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, seven Kashmiri separatist leaders and others in militancy funding.
Same year (2017) ED also registered a case of money laundering based on the NIA FIR against several separatist leaders in the state including Saeed. The NIA had seized incriminating documents from several separatist leaders.
Last month, the ED registered a fresh case against Saeed.
“After going through the detailed scrutiny of the bank transactions, we found the evidences against the six people,” the source said.
He said that Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmed Watali, who was arrested in August 2017, “acted as fund manager to many persons to park the money received from across the border”.
Watali was granted bail by the Delhi High Court in September last year.
The ED last year also questioned Dubai-based hawala operator, Naval Kishore Kapoor, who was arrested by NIA. Kapoor is currently lodged in Tihar Central Jail, as the ED continues its probe into details of funding that emerged post-26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Kapoor was arrested by the NIA on July 16 last year.
According to the ED sources, questioning of Kapoor was required as the NIA probe had revealed a lease agreement signed in 2014 between him and Kashmiri businessman Watali.
The source said the questioning led to several important tips to unearth the funding module in the Kashmir Valley.
Besides, the six people, the ED has identified several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which acted as a conduit to route the money of Saeed in the state.
The source however, refused to share the names of the NGOs. He said that these NGOs helped the people to park the money to stoke unrest in the state. The source said that soon ED will attach their properties.
The NIA had in July 2017 arrested Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.
Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan. Shahid-ul-Islam is an aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.