ED conducts searches in Jammu and Kashmir money laundering case

ED conducts searches in J&K money laundering case, uncovers Rs 250 crore fraud
Enforcement Directorate
Enforcement Directorate

Srinagar | The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday searched six places in connection with a Rs 250-crore money laundering case in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

The searches included the premises of the former chairman of Jammu and Kashmir State Cooperative Bank Limited, they said. Earlier the officials had mentioned that the case pertained to J-K Bank.

The fraud was in the name of the fictitious River Jhelum Cooperative Housing Building Society, the officials said.

According to them, the raids were conducted by the ED's office in Srinagar under powers provided to the federal probe agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for search and seizure.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had already filed a charge sheet in the case against Hilal A Mir, the chairman of the fictitious housing society, the then chairman of J-K State Co-operative Bank Limited Mohd Shafi Dar and others for the commission of offences under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act in August 2020.

According to the ACB probe, Mir had moved an application to the Secretary Cooperatives, Administration Department of Co-operative Societies, where he sought directions to the J-K Co-operative Bank Ltd for a grant of financial assistance to the tune of Rs 300 crores for taking over possession of 37.5 acres of land in the outskirts of Srinagar for construction of a satellite township.

The application was endorsed to the Registrar of Cooperative Societies Jammu and Kashmir for taking up the matter with J-K State Cooperative Bank.

Accordingly, the J-K Co-operative Bank in Srinagar sanctioned a loan to the tune of Rs 223 crores without adhering to any codal formalities, that is obtaining the details of the society such as balance sheet, profit and loss, account business, activities being done by the society, PAN number, Income Tax return, details of Construction of the Board Resolutions.

The inquiry revealed that River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society has not been even registered with Registrar Co-operative Societies, Jammu and Kashmir, and Mir by acting in league with Dar and others had prepared a fake and fictitious registration certificate in the name of the society and managed the sanction of loan.

The loan amount was disbursed into the accounts of the land owners but the land has not been mortgaged to the bank.

Further, an investigation conducted by the ACB has been successful in unearthing the siphoned-off funds to the tune of Rs 223 crore and an amount to the tune of Rs 187 crore has been frozen by the bureau.

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