Militant groups, Kashmir separatists in ED net: Money laundering case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against separatist organisations and militant groups operating in Kashmir to probe alleged funding received by separatists for carrying out subversive activities in the valley. Officials said the central probe agency has booked a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) taking cognisance of a National Investigation Agency (NIA) FIR. The NIA had booked a case against certain accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in May and had carried out searches few days later at various locations in the Kashmir Valley. The ED, they said, will probe the ‘proceeds of crime’ and also alleged instances of terror financing by the people involved in this case and their associates. While the ED case has been registered against those named in the NIA FIR, officials said it is quite possible that its probe may expanded to cover many others not named by it as of now. While no separatist leader from the Kashmir Valley had been named in the FIR registered by the NIA, organisations like the Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq), Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e- Millat and Lashker-e-Taiba besides Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ud Dawah Hafiz Saeed have been mentioned. The ED is also expected to scan records and transactions of certain banks, money exchanges and hawala operatives based in the valley to take its probe forward. The NIA raids, early this month, were carried out following the questioning of three separatist leaders—Nayeem Khan, who was seen on television during a sting operation purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based groups, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’ and Gazi Javed Baba of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, in the capital last month.