SHABIR SHAH IN TOUCH WITH HAFIZ SAEED
A special court on Saturday took cognizance of the Enforcement Directorate’s chargesheet filed against Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah in connection with a 2005 money-laundering case for alleged terror financing. The chargesheet alleged that Shah was in touch with Pakistan-based terrorist Hafiz Saeed.
The complaint — equivalent to a chargesheet — filed before Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, also named alleged hawala dealer Mohammed Aslam Wani, on whose statement the ED registered a case against him. Both are in judicial custody.
In 2005, the Delhi Police Special Cell had arrested Wani, a Kashmiri, with a pistol and Rs 62.9 lakh cash. He was booked under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, and 17 and 23 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, as also under Arms Act. He allegedly made a disclosure statement to the police, stating that he was working as a “carrier” for Shah.
Wani reportedly stated that he collected money from operators in Delhi and was supposed to deliver Rs 52.96 lakh to Shah in the Valley.
On November 25, 2010 a local court convicted Wani under Arms Act, and ruled that charges under IPC 120B and Section 17 of UAPA, which deals with the offence of raising funds for terrorist activities, were “not proved”.
In 2007, the ED registered a case based on Wani’s alleged disclosure to the Special Cell.
Defence counsel M S Khan had earlier argued that the ED had stated that Wani was “convicted in the case” without mentioning under what acts/section he was convicted. In its custody application, ED said that it started the probe on the basis of “scheduled offence” as per PMLA.
Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Awasthi had told the court that “proceeds of crime” against Shah are to be examined in court. In its remand application to the court earlier, the ED said, “Shah is in continuous contact with anti-national elements/terrorists residing in Pakistan…. He received various hawala consignments for disrupting peace in Jammu and Kashmir.”
On Saturday, the court took cognizance of the over 700-page chargesheet and directed production of the accused before it on September 27. The chargesheet relied upon 19 witnesses, an official said. Filed under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), it has furnished Shah’s statements where he has allegedly told the investigators that he has “no source of income of his own” and that he does “not file any income tax return.”
Court sources said that Shah in his statement to the ED said that he was in touch with Hafiz Saeed on the phone and that he did so most recently this January.
The ED claimed that Shah “only received donations in cash from locals and his well-wishers towards the party fund which amounts to Rs 8-10 lakh per annum”. It was also found that Shah does “not keep records of these donations which he receives in cash only”, the ED prosecution complaint said.