Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police’s State Investigation Agency (SIA) on Wednesday carried out raids at seven places in the union territory in connection with militancy funding via Bitcoin trade, police spokesman said.
The searches were conducted at multiple locations spread across J&K and house premises of suspects were searched in Mendhar, Poonch, Baramulla, Kupwara and Handwara in connection with investigation of a case registered in Counter Intelligence Police Station in Srinagar.
The case pertains to terror financing via Bitcoin trade. Police said the Pakistani mastermind in the financing has been identified.
“Details that are being investigated into at the initial stage include a mastermind in Pakistan who with active support of Pakistani intelligence agencies and in connivance with proscribed terrorist organization(s) based in Pakistan has been pumping slush money to their agents in J&K for further distribution among terrorist organisation(s), secessionist(s) for fueling mass violence and terrorist activities in J&K. The Pakistani mastermind has been comprehensively identified. His particulars, however, is being kept confidential because other agents connected with him are not alerted,” the spokesman said.
The houses searched were that of Zahida Bano of Hajinaka Manigah Hyhama, Kupwara; Ghulam Mujataba Deedad of Lone Hari, Kupwara; Tamjeeda Begum of Satkoji Rajwara, Handwara; Yasir Ahmad Mir of Dewan Bagh Baramulla; Mohammad Sayed Masoodi of Trajpora, Baramulla; Farooq Ahmad of Gagrian, Mandi Poonch and Imran Chowdhary of Dharana Mendhar.
“Preliminary investigation revealed evidence that the dirty money originating from Pakistan has reached these persons (whose houses were searched),” he said.
The transfer of money has been layered to prevent backward tracing of its origin, the investigation has revealed.
“While several accounts-in-the-middle that have been used to layer the money are outside J&K, the effective whitewashing of the Pakistani money has taken place through exploitation of loopholes in the international bitcoin trade,” he said.
“During searches conducted today, incriminating material believed to be hidden in digital devices, SIM cards, mobile phones and documents, having a bearing on the investigation have been recovered and seized. Analysis of the data and questioning of suspects would follow and leads that would emerge would become the basis of further investigation,” the spokesman added.