Free Press Journal

ED conducts searches in Srinagar in hawala case


Srinagar/New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate today conducted searches at a few locations in Jammu and Kashmir’s capital here in connection with an alleged terror funding and hawala case involving over Rs 20 crore funds.

Officials privy to the operations of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said the agency conducted searches against Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad and three premises connected to him.

They said Sheikh’s house in Ahmad Nagar and his firms, ‘Al Khuddam Tours and Travels’ and ‘Ms Ferozsons Exports Private Limited’ in Srinagar town, were searched.

“Some documents related to foreign firms have been seized after the searches,” they said.

Sheikh is alleged to have export proceeds of over Rs 20 crore as “outstanding” for 2014-15 period even as the agency claimed that the exporter was “not cooperating” with it.

The ED suspects that the funds allegedly unrealised to the exporter from foreign shores are in violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rules.

“The man being investigated has not been providing any documents and other help sought from him as part of the probe. Hence, the searches had to be conducted to gather evidence,” they said.

We had roped in the state police for conducting the searches, the officials said.

The agency is probing the case under sections of the FEMA Act.

As the export proceeds are outside India and the exporter has not made any attempts to bring it back to the country, it is suspected that this money could have been used for terror funding and in hawala transactions, wherein legal banking channels are skirted to route tainted money.