NIA recovers foreign currency from separatists

Agency seizes crores, gold worth Rs 40 lakh in 2 days

NIA recovers foreign currency from separatists

The NIA, probing “terror funding” to separatist leaders in Kashmir, continued searches on the residences of Hurriyat leaders for the second consecutive day on Sunday, during which it seized incriminating documents and foreign currency.

Sources said the National Investigation Agency searched four places in Kashmir and one in Jammu on Sunday.
“The NIA searched the offices of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, linked to Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, and the residences of Javed Ahmed Baba alias Gazi Baba, Peer Saifullah and Ayaz Akbar, all leaders of hardline Hurriyat,” a source said.

He said the residence of a businessman, identified as Farooq Bagoo, was also searched.

The premier central probe agency found a few thousand Pakistani rupees, and the currency of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, sources said. “Since Saturday, cash worth a few crore rupees, gold jewellery/coins worth about Rs 40 lakh, property documents, letterheads of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul, pen drives, laptops, mobile phones and incriminating documents have been seized from financiers, hawala operators and office bearers of separatist groups,” a source said. 

A top NIA official told DH that the bank accounts and lockers, revealed during the course of the investigation, were ordered to be frozen and the people concerned were summoned.

“We are probing the entire terror network and their financiers. Also, people who incited violence and stone pelting and burnt down schools during the unrest are on our radar,” he said.

The searches were carried out after NIA launched a preliminary enquiry into hawala funding to separatist leaders. The enquiry was launched following a sting operation by a New Delhi-based news channel.

NIA had grilled three separatists leaders Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed and Gazi Baba, who were reportedly receiving funds from Hafiz Saeed, the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and LeT chief.

In December 2002, the Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested 16 people on charges of channelling hawala funds to militant organisations under the cover of their legitimate businesses.

Incidentally, the residence of incumbent Jammu and Kashmir Education Minister Altaf Bukhari’s father was also searched back then.

However, the state police closed the case for lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, Geelani in a statement on Sunday said Indian authorities and agencies, particularly NIA, was harassing the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leadership and its activists, but such “coercive tactics will not deter them from advocating a just cause”.
DH News Service

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