NEW DELHI: India-Pakistan barter trade through PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) has received a setback with the Enforcement Directorate attaching 13 properties of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants in the Valley, allegedly purchased using Rs 11 crore terror funds sent by PoK-based HM founder Syed Salahuddin through the barter trade channel.

According to ED, Salahuddin had sourced the funds from Pakistan government funded J&K Affectees Relief Trust (JKART) and another trust meant for providing relief to Kashmiri Muslims in Pakistan. Militants on both sides, in PoK and in the Valley, were engaged in barter trade and channeled the terror funds, the probe revealed.

The ED money trail showed that Rs 10.5 crore of the Rs 11.26 crore sent through barter trade was withdrawn in cash in the Valley and distributed to terrorists. About half a dozen associates of Salahuddin and HM militants in the Valley have been named by the agency in its attachment order having received these funds and investing part of it in properties.

“As on date, 13 properties of Md Shafi Shah and six other terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen worth Rs 1.22 crore located in J&K have been attached under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act),” ED said.

Shafi Shah, alias Doctor, has been identified by the agency as the mastermind in the Valley who received the funds and further distributed them to HM militants from Bandipora, Budgam and Anantnag. Some of these terrorists have already been arrested and lodged in Tihar jail, the agency said.

The ED has also identified 25 properties of militants in the Valley which received investments from Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed. Last week, it had attached a Gurugram property worth over Rs 1 crore allegedly funded by Hafiz Saeed. So far, the agency has identified properties worth over Rs 7 crore, the funds for which had come from Pakistan and Dubai through hawala channels.

In its money laundering case registered against Hafiz Saeed, the agency has accused several Hurriyat leaders and militant sympathisers — including Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Shah Watali and Altaf Ahmad Shah, alias Fantoosh, son-in-law of Syed Ali Shah Geelani — of having received terror funds.

“The probe has identified proceeds of crime (terror funds) of more than Rs 7 crore out of which Rs 5.62 crore was received in India from Dubai and Rs 1.62 crore received from Hafiz Saeed and ISI through the Pakistan High Commission,” the agency claimed.

The ED is also probing other senior separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, JK Domestic Freedom Party chief Shabir Shah and JKLF chief Yasin Malik, for receiving suspected terror funds from undisclosed sources. It has issued a show cause notice to Geelani and Yasin Malik under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and accused Shabir Shah of having received more than Rs 63 lakh through hawala channels. Shah is currently in custody in Tihar jail. The agency has identified four of his properties allegedly acquired using terror funds, likely to be attached soon.



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