Terror funding case: ED attaches property of Zahoor Watali

Terror funding case: ED attaches property of Zahoor Watali

Agency News

New Delhi, Apr 16: Enforcement Directorate has attached property worth Rs 6.19 crore of Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali and his family members under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the ongoing investigations in terror financing case against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Md Yusuf Shah alias Salahuddin, an official statement said here on Tuesday.

Md Hafiz Sayeed is founder of the proscribed organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)and Jamaat-Ud-Dawa (JuD), while Md Salahuddin is the head of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

The Central financial probe agency move comes after the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency under PMLA against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Md Yusuf Shah alias Salahuddin, Aftab Ahmad Shah alias Shahid-Ul-Islam, Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Fantoosh, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Mohammad Akbar Khanday, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peet Saifullah, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmad Bhat under Section 120B, 121 & 121A of IPC, 1860 read with Section 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39 & 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Accused Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali has been found to be involved in fundraising and as a financial conduit for Hurriyat leaders and NIA probe also revealed that the All Party Hurriyat Conference and other secessionists instigate the general public, especially the youth, to observe strikes and issue directives to the masses to hold anti-India protests, demonstrations and processions through press releases,newspapers and social media.

'The secessionists instigate the masses to resort to violence especially stone-pelting on the security forces at encounter sites and also after the dispersal of Friday prayers. This has been done willfully to create such circumstances which will arouse disaffection among the people of Jammu and Kashmir towards the Government of India,' the probe agency said.

Pakistan role

The investigations under PMLA also revealed that the Hurriyat leaders have received funds from Pakistan through conduits and also from the Pakistan High Commission directly.

This was substantiated by an incriminating document seized from the house of Ghulam Md Bhatt during search. Bhatt worked as the cashier-cum-accountant with Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali.

The document clearly indicates that Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was receiving money from Hafiz Saeed, from ISI, from the Pakistan High Commission at New Delhi and also from a source based in Dubai and he was remitting the same to the Hurriyat leaders, separatists and stone-pelters of Jammu and Kashmir.

The seized document has been maintained in regular course of his business and is signed by Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali himself.

'This document also indicates that Hurriyat leaders were receiving funds from Pakistan through the officials of Pakistan High Commission and through Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali,' the ED officials said.

The signature of Zahoor Shah Watali has also been verified. As per the expert report, his signature on the questioned document matches with his specimen handwriting as well as his admitted handwriting and he along with other nine accused are under Judicial Custody at Central Jail, Tihar, New Delhi in the case investigated by NIA.

During the detailed investigation by ED, it has also been revealed that another accused Naval Kishore Kapoor has mobilised funds from unknown sources in Dubai and remitted the same to Watali and his company Trison Farms and Construction Pvt Ltd.

“The said transactions were carried out in the guise of a lease agreement between Trison Farms and Construction Pvt. Ltd. and Naval Kishore Kapoor which was found to be only a legal façade to bring funds from unknown sources in Dubai to India’, the Ed officials added.

Ongoing investigations conducted by ED so far have resulted in quantification of proceeds of Crime to the tune of Rs 7.22 Crore. One immovable property of accused Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, located in Gurugram, having a value of Rs 1.03 crore was earlier attached provisionally under PMLA.

Now, the Properties (Land at Sozeith Goripora, Narbal, Budgam in J&K), belonging to Watali and his family members, worth Rs 6.19 Crore which is equivalent to the remaining proceeds of crime, have been attached provisionally under the provision of PMLA, the probe agency added. (UNI)