Free Press Journal

An accused in terror funding case masqueraded as DRI ex-DG: NIA


New Delhi: One of the nine accused arrested by the NIA introduced himself as a former senior DRI official to facilitate exchange of spiked currency of Rs 36.34 crore, even as the role of certain bank officials has come to notice, the NIA said on Wednesday.

“Deepak Toprani introduced himself to others as a former Director General of DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence),” Alok Mittal, the counter-terror probe agency’s spokesperson, told IANS.

Mittal said the names of a few bank officials have also cropped during investigation into the case.

“A few bank officials’ complicity has came to our notice, which will be probed further,” he said without disclosing any name.

As for the link of the nine arrested on Tuesday with 10 persons arrested earlier this year by the NIA in the terror funding case, the spokesman said: “There are common links of a few of the arrested with separatist leaders.”

He said the agency got the tip-off about the plan to exchange demonetised notes after questioning the Jammu and Kashmir separatists.

The official said Rs 36.34 crore in old notes seized from the nine accused on Tuesday was collected from various people in Jammu and Kashmir, including businessmen and several others.

He claimed Toprani had formed a “trust” through which he promised to exchange the notes.

The NIA had seized Rs 36,34,78,500 in demonetised currency here and arrested nine persons, including a Delhi Police constable, in its ongoing probe in connection with the Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case.

“One of the apprehended men was released as he had no role in the case,” the official said.

Those held are Pradeep Chauhan, 47, Constable Bhagwan Singh Meena, 54, both of Delhi; and Vinod Shreedhar Shetty, 47, and Deepak Toprani, 60, of Mumbai.

Shahnawaz Mir, 45, Majid Yousuf Sofi, 27, and Umar Mushtaq Dar, 27, are residents of Jammu and Kashmir; Ejajul Hassan, 38, is a resident of Amroha in Uttar Pradesh; and Jaswinder Singh, 53, of Nagpur.

With the arrest of the eight persons, the total arrests in the case stands at 18.

On July 24, the NIA arrested seven persons — Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah — on charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against India.

The agency also arrested businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali in mid-August, who acted as conduit for channelling funds for separatists and terror activities in the Valley.

On September 5, two alleged stone-pelters — Javed Ahmad Bhat of Kulgam and Kamran of Pulwama — were arrested.