The Jammu & Kashmir Special Investigative Agency on Wednesday carried out a series of raids across the Union Territory over terror financing from Pakistan via Bitcoin trade and seized SIM cards, mobile phones and documents from locations linked to the suspects, police said.
“The raids and searches were conducted on the houses of suspects in Mendhar, Poonch, Baramulla, Kupwara and Handwara in connection with investigation registered in Counter Intelligence Police Station in Srinagar,” a police spokesman said in a statement.
“Details that are being investigated into at the initial stage include a mastermind in Pakistan, who with active support of Pakistani intelligence agencies and in connivance with proscribed terrorist organisation(s) based in Pakistan, has been pumping slush money to their agents in J&K for further distribution among terrorist organisation(s), secessionist(s) for fuelling mass violence and terrorist activities in J&K. The Pakistani mastermind has been comprehensively identified. His particulars, however, is being kept confidential because other agents connected with him are not alerted,” the spokesman added.
He said searches were conducted at houses belonging Zahida Bano of Hajinaka Manigah Hyhama, Kupwara, Ghulam Mujataba Deedad of Lone Hari, Kupwara, Tamjeeda Begum of Satkoji Rajwara, Handwara and Yasir Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Sayed Masoodi, Trajpora, Baramulla, Farooq Ahmad of Gagrian, Mandi Poonch and Imran Chowdhary of Dharana Mendhar.
“Preliminary investigation revealed evidence that the dirty money originating from Pakistan has reached these persons. The transfer of money has been layered to prevent backward tracing of its origin, the investigation has revealed. While several accounts-in-the-middle that have been used to layer the money are outside J&K, the effective whitewashing of the Pakistani money has taken place through exploitation of loopholes in international Bitcoin trade,” the spokesman said.
He said that during searches incriminating material believed to be hidden in digital devices, SIM cards, mobile phones and documents, having a bearing on the investigation have been seized. “Analysis of the data and questioning of suspects will follow and leads that would emerge would become the basis of further investigation.”