SRINAGAR – The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday has seized assets worth over Rs. 6 crore belonging to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali, in alleged terror funding case and separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The probe agency alleged that Zahoor Ahmad Watali and Hurriyat leaders were receiving funds from Pakistan through conduits and also from the Pakistan High Commission in India “directly”. It said a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been issued for attaching lands in Sozeith Goripora, Narbal and Budgam areas of Kashmir belonging to the businessman and his family members.
The ED case is based on a charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as part of its probe against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed.
According to the ED, Watali has been found to be involved in fund raising and as a financial conduit of Hurriyat leader. In their probe, they found that the “Hurriyat leaders have received funds from Pakistan through conduits and also from the Pakistan High Commission directly,” it said in a statement.
“This was substantiated by an incriminating document seized from the house of his cashier during search,” it said.
“The document clearly indicates that Watali was receiving money from Hafiz Saeed (LeT and Jamaat-Ud-Dawa chief), from ISI, from the Pakistan High Commission at New Delhi and also from a source based in Dubai. Watali was remitting the same to the Hurriyat leaders, separatists and stone-pelters of Jammu and Kashmir. The said document has been maintained in regular course of his business and is signed by Watali,” it said.
This document, the ED alleged, indicated that the Hurriyat leaders were receiving funds from Pakistan through the officials of the Pakistan High Commission and through Zahoor Watali. The agency said his signature “has been verified” and as per the expert report, his signature on the stated document matches with his specimen handwriting as well as his admitted handwriting.