ED attaches assets worth Rs 4.69 cr in arms license racket

Properties obtained from proceeds of crime

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 21: The Enforcement Directorate Jammu Sub-Zonal Office today provisionally attached immovable/movable assets worth Rs 4.69 crore in the form of bank balance, plots, flats and residential houses in the arms license case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, (PMLA) 2002 which has also been confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority, New Delhi in favour of the Directorate.
The properties had been obtained from the proceeds of crime generated by the Government officials and the arms dealers through illegal activities of issuing and renewing arms licenses, sources told the Excelsior.
The investigation was initiated against several serving as well as retired bureaucrats, Government officials and various arms and ammunition dealers/brokers of Jammu and Kashmir, they said.
The Directorate initiated investigation in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) by recording ECIR bearing No. ECIR/JMSZO/04/2020 dated 13.03.2020 on the basis of First Information Reports (FIRs) involving schedule offences bearing number RCCHG0512018S0006 and RCCHG0512018S0007 both dated 16.10.2018 recorded by the Special Crime Branch of Central Bureau of Investigation, Chandigarh against the then Deputy Commissioner Kupwara and other officials.
The investigation conducted by the Directorate has revealed that Government functionaries of Jammu and Kashmir in connivance with many arms dealers/brokers of J&K brazenly flouted the norms, procedure and rules for issuing arms licenses in lieu of monetary considerations by abuse of their official position as public servants and generated huge proceeds of crime.
Investigation conducted by the Directorate revealed that the Government officials used to take commission from arms dealers and brokers directly in their bank accounts and in the bank accounts of their family members for getting arms licenses issued as well as renewed for Defence personnel.
Earlier, the Directorate had also conducted search operations at 11 different locations in J&K at the residential premises of the Government functionaries including Rajeev Ranjan, IAS, the then DC Kupwara, Itrat Hussain Rafiqui, Retired JKAS, the then DC Kupwara and other clerks and residential premise of arms dealers like Varun Armoury (Amarnath Bhargav and his brother Madan Mohan Bhargav and Mukesh Bhargav), Mohinder Kotwal Arms and ammunition, Swaran Singh Arms and Ammunition, Dashmesh Armoury and Kashmir Arms Corporation which led to seizure of cash and gold jewellery worth more than Rs. 2.50 crore approximately and many incriminating documents including property documents and arms license (in original and photocopy).
Further Enforcement Directorate filed complaint in Adjudicating Authority, New Delhi in April, 2022 for retention of cash, jewellery and documents which has also been confirmed.
Further investigations in the case are in progress.