Hawala money from foreign sent for Kashmir militants dumped in border villages

Security personnel stand guard outside a house during SIA raids in Poonch on Wednesday.
Security personnel stand guard outside a house during SIA raids in Poonch on Wednesday.

SIA’s major crackdown on terror funding in Rajouri, Poonch

Villagers lured by outfits in lieu of cash

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Sept 28: In a major crackdown on terror-funding, the State Investigation Agency (SIA) with the assistance of concerned district administration and police, today carried out raids at multiple locations in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and seized vital documents and digital devices amidst reports that some people living in border areas were engaged in collection of hawala money, which is generated from foreign nations and then pumped into Jammu and Kashmir through different States.
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The hawala racket runs into several crores, the officials told the Excelsior. These rackets were busted by police and intelligence agencies recently.
The SIA had developed specific inputs with the help of police and other security and Intelligence agencies that some youth of border areas in Rajouri and Poonch districts had been lured by the militants, their associates and financiers to collect hawala money from New Delhi, Mumbai and other places and transport it to the twin border districts from where it was being further sent to Kashmir militants while a part of it was kept in Jammu region.
Among those whose houses, shops and other locations were raided by the SIA, include Mohammad Hafiz and Abdul Hamid son of Mohammad Hussain of Morha Bachchai, presently putting up at Umar Colony Kunuiyan and Bera Jhalas.
Other locations where the searches were conducted fall at Dharati, Balakote, Kuniyan, Haveli Poonch, Julas etc.
A case in this connection had already been registered by the SIA under First Information Report (FIR) No. 2/2022 at SIA/Joint Interrogation Centre Police Station relating to terror financing. The searches were conducted after obtaining search warrants from the competent court.
As per the officials, certain border areas in Rajouri and Poonch districts are being used by the militant outfits of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen for collection and dumping of hawala money. The hawala money is collected by the conduits from New Delhi, Mumbai, Surat and some other cities and then brought to Rajouri and Poonch districts, mainly in the border areas.
From here, the funds are slowly transported to the Kashmir valley while part of money is kept in the two districts. The conduits who transport the hawala money are being paid heavily by the militants and their commanders.
A number of such conduits have been arrested by police and hawala money running into crores recovered from them.
In addition, cash sometimes is also sent by the militants and their sponsors from Pakistan through drones along the International Border. A number of such consignments have been seized by the security forces and police.
An official statement issued by the SIA said the SIA Jammu teams conducted multiple raids and searches at the houses of suspected persons situation at different locations in Rajouri and Poonch districts.
“The three teams carried out simultaneous search/raids in different areas of Rajouri and Poonch at the villages Dharati, tehsil Balakote, village Kuniyan, tehsil Haveli Poonch and village Julas, tehsil Haveli in connection with case FIR No. 2/2022 of PS JIC/SIA Jammu relating to terror funding case.
“The raids were aimed at breaking the terror ecosystem, their finances and investigate the proceeds of terror funding being used in creating assets and raising the funds for further use in terror ecosystem,” the statement said.
It added that the raids were carried out by the SIA Jammu with the help of district administration and district police with the motive to unearth terror links/financing.
“During the raids, incriminating material including documents and some digital devices were recovered which will be analyzed for further investigation by the SIA,” the statement said.
It added that adhering to national policy of zero tolerance against the terror, such raids will continue in future also.