ED seizes ₹6-crore assets of Kashmiri businessman who funded Hurriyat
The Enforcement Directorate has seized Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali’s assets worth ₹6 crore in its terror financing probe that targeted terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa founder Hafiz Saeed.
The order to seize the businessman’s assets worth ₹6.19 crore was issued after the central probe agency came across evidence that established his role in raising funds and acting as a financial conduit for Hurriyat leaders, a statement by the probe agency mandated to investigate financial crimes said.
The statement said the central agency’s probe had also been able to directly establish that the Pakistan high commission was one channel of funding for the Kashmiri separatists.
During a search at the house of Watali’s cashier Ghulam Mohd, it seized a document that makes it clear that the businessman “was receiving money from Hafiz Saeed (Head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa), from ISI, from the Pakistan High Commission at New Delhi and also from a source based in Dubai”, the ED statement said.
Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was remitting the same to the Hurriyat leaders, separatists and stone-throwers in the Kashmir valley. The document, the probe agency said, is signed by Watali.
ED initiated investigation under the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA) based on charges sheet filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) against a group of people including Hafiz Saeed and Watali.
Watali along with other nine accused are under judicial custody in Delhi’s Tihar Jail in the case terror funding and money laundering case investigated by the NIA.