New Delhi, Aug 30 : The Adjudication Authority under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), after conducting the adjudication proceeding has held Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali guilty for contraventions of provisions of FEMA and thereby imposed penalty to the extent of Rs 62 lakh in a case of operating NRE and NRO account in HSBC Bank at New Delhi in unauthorized manner, an Enforcement Directorate (ED) release said here on Friday.
The ED initiated investigation under FEMA against Watali on the basis of information of certain suspicious foreign exchange transactions. Earlier also Zahoor Watali was found acting as a financial conduit of the global terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-Ud-Dawa and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen head Mohd Salahuddin and his property worth Rs 8.94 crore was attached for his involvement in fund raising and acting as a financial conduit for Hurriyat Leaders. This case was being investigated by the National Investigation Agency.
During investigation, it was revealed that that Zahoor Watali was maintaining Non-Resident Saving Accounts (both NRE & NRO accounts) in HSBC Bank at New Delhi’s Greater Kailash-I and at the time of opening of these accounts he had submitted documents like the copy of the Passport issued at Washington DC, resident visa claiming himself as a Non-Resident Indian, whereas during this period he neither remained outside India for more than 182 days in the preceding financial year nor was his intention to remain outside India for an uncertain period. During the period 2003 to 2009 Zahoor Watali received inward remittances to the tune of Rs 62,93,711.
In his NRE and NRO account on the strength of his fake NRI status, despite being a resident in India, he continued holding of the accounts and allowed remittances in this account and thereby contravened the provisions of Section 4 and section 6(3) (f) of FEMA, 1999 read with Schedule 1 of Regulation 5(1)(i) of the Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulation.
Accordingly, a ‘Show Cause Notice’ was issued to Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali on the basis of complaints filed under-section 16(3) of FEMA. Watali along with other nine accused are under Judicial Custody at Tihar Central Jail, New Delhi in the case being investigated by the NIA. (UNI)