New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached a Srinagar-located asset linked to Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah in connection with a 14-year-old terror funding and money laundering case against him and others, the agency said Friday.
The property is located in Effandi Bagh in the Rawalpora area of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital, and the central probe agency issued a provisional order to attach the asset under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The action is part of a multi-agency crackdown launched by the government against separatists and terror operatives functioning from Kashmir Valley. The ED said the asset is being "held in the name" of Shah's wife and daughters.
The seized asset is valued at Rs 25.8 lakh, the agency said. It added that Shah, currently in judicial custody, is "involved in carrying out illicit activities along with his accomplice Mohd Aslam Wani, who is an activist of banned militant organisation JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad)".
"Shah was using Wani as a carrier for collecting hawala money sent by his Pakistan-based sympathisers through hawala operators...," the agency said.
Records show, the ED said, that this property has been gifted to Shah's wife and daughters by his sisters-in-law in 2005, which was purchased in their name by his father-in-law in 1999. However, in spite of repeated opportunities given to Shah's father-in-law and sisters-in-law they failed to justify the sources of fund to acquire the property, the agency claimed.
Investigation has also revealed that Shah is the de-facto owner of the property purchased through unexplained source of fund by his father-in-law, it alleged.
The ED said its probe revealed that Shah "was in touch with global terrorist Hafeez Sayeed, chief of banned outfit Jamat-ud-Dawa based in Pakistan and that he had been receiving money for carrying out separatist activities in J-K and has acquired various properties through a maze of dubious transactions".
Shah and Wani were arrested by the ED in 2017. Wani was granted bail by a court in January 2019.
The case dates back to August 2005 case when the Delhi Police's special cell arrested Wani (37), an alleged hawala dealer, who had claimed that he had passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah.
Wani was arrested allegedly with about Rs 63 lakh, received through hawala channels from the Middle East, and a large cache of ammunition on August 26, 2005.
During questioning, he had told the police that Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah and Rs 10 lakh to Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander in Srinagar, Abu Baqar, and the rest was his commission.
An amount of Rs 63 lakh was earlier attached by the ED. Wani, who hails from Srinagar, had also claimed that he had delivered around Rs 2.25 crore to Shah and his kin in multiple instalments over the past year and in absence of Shah he used to deliver these money to his wife Bilquees Shah, it said.