Major Pak plot of funding terror, separatism exposed

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 19: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has come across a major terror financing racket that originated from Pakistan and some Gulf countries, which was used to provide huge cash to separatists and militants through a new kind of modus operandi in which few prominent businessmen and tour and travel operators of Kashmir were involved.
Official sources told the Excelsior that funds running into several crores had reached the separatists and terrorists through the tricks used by Pakistan army, commanders of militant groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen and some other sympathizers of the militancy.
As per the game plan, certain persons in Pakistan establishments on the directions of Pakistan army and militant commanders used to purchase international travel packages, including the religious ones, from tour and travel operators of Kashmir and some other businessmen. The travel operators had fixed the clause that amount will be non-refundable if the bookings were cancelled at the last minute.
“The bookings were made on the names of fictitious persons from mainly in Pakistan, though few instances had also been reported from the Gulf nations. At the last moment, majority of bookings were cancelled, as per the plan, leaving the tour and travel operators and other businessmen richer by several crores,” sources disclosed.
They said the amount minted by the travel operators, who were in advance aware of the booking cancellations, was used by Pakistan (through the operators) to fund terrorists and separatists. A part of the amount was kept by the travel and tour operators and the business men.
As those connected with this terror funding operations were aware that such number of bookings will be cancelled, they had made no arrangements for them and, thus, saved entire money they had taken for the bookings.
“The new kind of modus operandi to fund terrorism and separatism in the Kashmir valley was going on for past several years unchecked till the NIA laid down its hand on separatists and their sympathizers,” sources pointed out and revealed that amount running into several crores had already been used for promoting separatism in the Kashmir valley. This way, some tour and travel operators as well as Kashmiri businessmen had also become quite rich.
Sources said some of the persons arrested and detained during the NIA raids have confessed to the new technique used by Pakistan establishment to route funds to sustain separatists and terrorists in the Kashmir valley.
Meanwhile, the investigating agencies have been working on gathering details of assets including benami made by the separatists, businessmen and militant sympathizers in Jammu and Kashmir during past three decades of militancy.
“Initially the investigators had focused on some separatists but the scope of investigations has now been widened and extended to cover businessmen and sympathizers of militants including certain political leaders,” sources said, adding that huge assets have been detected on names as well as on the names of their relatives and certain close aides during the investigations for which a detailed dossier is being prepared.
The investigators could ask the separatists and businessmen to disclose source of money through which large number of assets were purchased and investments made by them. The investigations into the aspects of assets was still going on and, during the process, more details could surface.
Sources said the NIA has prepared list of nearly 80 movable and immovable assets in the possession of separatists, both on their own or kin’s names¬† as well as benami, which included malls, shopping complex, flats in Delhi, huge land, orchards, schools, bungalows, limestone and gypsum quarries, hotels and stakes in housing colonies and investments in various private companies.
Asserting that separatists would have to disclose source of money used to make the assets, sources said if they were unable to disclose the legal source or disown the properties, they will be seized.
Sources pointed out that security guards of some of the separatists had acted as facilitators in purchasing and guarding the assets purchase by them and they too could be questioned as they might be having more details of both movable and immovable properties in the possession of separatist leaders.


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