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ED opposes bail of hawala dealer, alleges he brought Pak money

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ED opposes bail of hawala dealer, alleges he brought Pak money

New Delhi, Sep 7 : The Enforcement Directorate today opposed the bail plea of alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani in a city court, saying that he had a key role in bringing money from Pakistan for terror activities in Kashmir.

The probe agency, in its written response to Wani’s bail plea, said the investigation in a decade-old money laundering case involving Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah was at a crucial stage and Wani may threaten witnesses and destroy evidence if enlarged on bail.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, who had denied bail to Shah on August 22, posted Wani’s bail application for arguments on September 14.

The ED’s response, filed through its special public prosecutor N K Matta, referred to the call records, e-mails and list of donors and alleged that they were linked to dubious transactions in Pakistan, London and Dubai.

Moreover, Wani was yet to be questioned for identifying the dubious offshore donors whose money routed into India through hawala channels, the probe agency claimed.

“The accused is suspected to be involved in assisting of channelising the illegal money sourced from foreign country Pakistan, avoiding banking channels to fund terror organisations in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country. If released on bail, he may use his influence in pressurising/threatening the witnesses.

“There are serious allegations against the applicant and the probe is at a very crucial stage since call records leading to Pakistan, London, Dubai are to be scrutinised including mails and the donors who have paid the money to him are to be identified and examined,” the advocate said.

The agency submitted that if Wani was relased on bail at this juncture, “the entire effort of the respondents to unearth the larger conspiracy would be a futile exercise”.

“The present case discloses the commission of serious crime where the accused is involved in generation of huge proceeds of crime from various countries, including Pakistan, to carry out unrest in Kashmir and amassed huge wealth in the form of immovable and movable assets,” the counsel claimed.

In his bail application moved through advocate M S Khan, 36-year-old Wani has claimed that he was wrongly implicated in the case.

He has claimed that there was no material evidence that he had indulged in making money by selling the weapons or that he ever supplied money to any one, including Shah, before or after 2005.

He said he was innocent and there was no chance of him escaping from justice if granted the relief.

The court had earlier rejected the bail plea of Shah after the Enforcement Directorate said it was probing whether he had received money from “enemy countries” like Pakistan to promote terrorism in India.

Wani was arrested from Srinagar by ED on August 6 and is currently in judicial custody. Shabir Shah was arrested by the agency from Srinagar on July 26.

The ED action against the two was in pursuance of an August 2005 case in which the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Wani, claiming he had passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah.

In 2010, a Delhi court had cleared Wani of terror funding charges but convicted him under the Arms Act. The ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shah and Wani.

Earlier on August 26, 2005, Wani was arrested allegedly with Rs 63 lakh, received through hawala channels from the Middle East, and a large cache of ammunition.

During questioning, the police had said he had told them that an amount of Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah and Rs 10 lakh to Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander in Srinagar, Abu Baqar, and the rest was his commission.

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