5 firms using cross-LoC trade to fund Hizb-ul Mujahiddin Terrorist Organisation : NIA
In its probe into the alleged transfer of cross-LoC trade funds for terror purposes in J&K, the National Investigation Agency has found at least five companies with links to the Hizb-ul Mujahideen.
Top sources told TOI that the scrutiny of around 300 companies/traders engaged in cross-LoC India-Pakistan trade since 2008 has revealed some dubious transactions related to five firms. NIA officials refused to divulge the names of these companies.
Sources said that these companies were engaged in barter trade with some Pakistan-based individuals/companies that were under-invoicing the import of California almonds (badam giri) at trade facilitation centres (TFCs) located at Salamabad and Chakkan-da-Bagh in J&K. The under-invoicing led to windfall profits for the Indian companies now under the scanner and that money was most likely used for “terror operations”.
NIA suspects that several crores of rupees were handed over to overground workers of Hizb or to separatist elements to fuel the massive protests and violence in the Valley following the killing of the terror group’s commander Burhan Waniin July 2016. In an FIR registered last year under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, NIA had stated that largescale transfer of funds was taking place through the California almonds trade. The trade was in gross violation of prohibition on trade in ‘third-party origin goods’ through this mechanism.
Earlier this month, security forces had arrested a truck driver — Irshad Ahmad Mantoo, a resident of Kulgam — while trying to smuggle in arms and ammunition from Pakistan. He had received the consignment from a terrorist operative in POK and had hidden it in a cavity in his truck that was bringing in merchandise from across the border. NIA is questioning him to identify the people to whom the delivery was expected to be made.
NIA is also analysing several thousand documents related to the companies involved in barter trade in J&K to know more about terror funding.