ED conducts raids at 7 places in Kashmir for money laundering

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Nov 21 : Directorate of Enforcement (ED) today conducted searches at seven places in Kashmir under money laundering for suspicious transactions in J&K Bank.
The raids were conducted at seven locations, six in Srinagar and one in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a case relating to suspicious transactions in J&K Bank.
The raids were conducted early in the morning and the ED sleuths were assisted by Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF. The raids lasted several hours during which incriminating documents were seized.
The CIK of Jammu and Kashmir Police found these suspicious transactions and later conducted raids at several locations over a month ago. They later registered a case following suspicious transaction and on the basis of that FIR, the ED today conducted raids.
“ED initiated investigation under PMLA after CID, CIK Srinagar registered FIR, against Bank officials of J&K Bank, unidentified public servants & private persons and others for suspicious transactions in various bank accounts.  It has been alleged in the FIR that the bank accounts were used for routing money of public servants as well as some private parties. Further, bank officials, in connivance with these public servants, deliberately omitted to raise the alerts as required under Anti-Money Laundering (AML) norms,” the statement said.
It added that the investigations conducted under PMLA so far have revealed that the transactions in many of these bank accounts maintained with J&K Bank were not genuine and these accounts were utilized for the purpose of laundering.
“On the basis of specific information, searches at seven places belonging to Mohammad Ibrahim Dar, Murtaza Enterprises, Azad Agro Traders, M & M Cottage Industries and Mohammad Sultan Teli were conducted which resulted in recovery of evidence of money laundering as the bank accounts have been found to be used for routing suspicious transactions,” it added.
The raid was also conducted at Petrol Pump at Khanyar, belonging to Sameer Ahmad Azad son of Noorud Din Azad of Munawar Abad Khanyar.
The raid was also conducted at the house of Maqbool Want son of Mohammad Akbar Want of Barji Harwan, Srinagar.  Want also deals in properties and runs construction company Murtaza constructions.
Those whose premises were searched are in Hospitality and Agro based Industries, civil construction and real estate.  Statement of persons covered in the searches are being recorded to unravel the source of huge credits and debits in their accounts. Recovered incriminating documents and soft data are also being analysed,” the statement said, adding that further investigation is under progress.