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Terror-funding: ED moves court for questioning jailed UAE-based businessman in money laundering case

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday moved a Delhi court seeking permission to question a UAE-based businessman, arrested by the NIA and currently in judicial custody here in a terror-funding case also involving Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

In an application filed before District Judge Poonam A Bamba, the ED said that United Arab Emirates businessmen Naval Kishore Kapoor was required for interrogation and recording of his statement in a money laundering case, being probed by the ED in relation to the present matter.

The NIA had arrested Kapoor on July 26 and he is presently lodged in Tihar central jail.

The court has put up the application, filed by ED's special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana, for hearing tomorrow.

The ED had earlier interrogated a Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, a co-accused in the case, in an investigation in the present matter under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against him for allegedly receiving funds from abroad.

In today's application moved through advocate A R Aditya, the ED told the court that "Watali had mobilised huge amount of funds in the guise of foreign remittance from unknown sources in India through/in association with one of his old associates Kapoor."

"It is crucial to record the statement of the accused as the money laundering case is being investigated," it said.

According to the NIA, Kapoor entered in an agreement with Trison Farms and Constructions through its Managing Director Watali to take land in Budgam on lease.

Kapoor remitted a total amount of Rs 5.579 crore in 22 instalments between 2013 and 2016 to Watali, it had said.

According to the NIA, the said land did not exist in the name of the company and the agreement lacks legal sanctity.The agency alleged that it was a 'cover' created by Watali to bring foreign remittance from unknown sources to India.

Watali, Saeed, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and others have been accused by the NIA of "conspiring to wage war against the government" and fomenting trouble in the Kashmir Valley.

In its charge sheet, the NIA has alleged that officials of the Pakistan High Commission here were passing on money to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir through Watali.

The separatist leaders have been accused of taking a cut of the money.

Saeed has been accused of using Watali's services for passing on the money to the separatists and some individuals, who were actively indulging in stone-pelting in the Valley.

The NIA has charged Pakistan-based terrorists Saeed and Salahuddin, besides 10 others, with criminal conspiracy, sedition and provisions of the UAPA.

Besides Saeed, Salahuddin and Watali, the agency has named hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh and Bashir Ahmad Bhat in the charge sheet.

Hurriyat Conference leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Mohammad Akbar Khanday and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal have also been charged by the agency in the terror-funding case.

Most of the accused are currently in the judicial custody.

Two of the accused -- freelance photo-journalist Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmad Bhat -- both accused of stone-pelting, were earlier granted bail by the court.

The ED had registered a case under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on the FIR lodged by the NIA.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 05 2018. 18:20 IST
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