NIA probe into cross-LOC trade uncovers five companies with links to Hizbul Mujahideen

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found that at least five Indian companies engaged in cross-LoC India-Pakistan trade have links to the Hizbul Mujahideen, as per a report in Times of India.

As part of its probe into the alleged transfer of funds from across the border, used to fuel terror networks, the NIA had been investigating close to 300 companies that were engaged in cross-border trade since 2008. The agency found five companies with dubious transaction records, leading it to further probe them.

The report quoted sources that revealed that 'these companies were engaged in barter trade with Pakistan-based individuals/companies, that were under-invoicing the import of California almonds at trade facilitation centres (TFCs) located at Salamabad and Chakkan-da-Bagh in Jammu and Kashmir. The money acquired by under-invoicing the import, NIA believes, could have been used to fund "terror operations."

 NIA probe into cross-LOC trade uncovers five companies with links to Hizbul Mujahideen

Representational image. Getty

Earlier this month, Some arms and ammunition were recovered from a truck engaged in cross-LoC trade in Uri sector of north Kashmir's Baramulla district. The weapons were hidden in a camouflaged cavity of the truck designed particularly for illegal smuggling.

After clothes, California almonds have emerged as the new product in cross-LoC trade in Jammu and Kashmir that are being used as a mode of terror funding.

The NIA has registered a case in this connection and had carried out searches on traders at trade facilitation centres at Salamabad in Kashmir region's North Kashmir's Baramulla district and Chakan-da-bagh in Poonch district of Jammu region.

According to the cross-LoC trade agreement between India and Pakistan, products grown in both sides of Jammu and Kashmir will be exchanged under the barter system. The products included the California almonds, that is grown in parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. During the searches, documents related to exchange of California almonds were seized and are being scrutinised, the NIA said.

The traders from PoK were sending and receiving California almonds and it is alleged that the money was used for funding of terror groups in the state.

"This is in gross violation of the State policy of prohibition on trade in 'third-party origin goods' through this mechanism and information indicated that these funds are being used for fomenting terrorism and separatism in the state of Jammu and Kashmir," the NIA had said.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 29, 2017 13:41:11 IST