Terror funding case: NIA arrests top businessman Zahoor Watali after raiding his residence

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Srinagar businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, a day after conducting searches at  his house and 11 other locations in Srinagar and north Kashmir in connection with terror funding.

Zahoor Watali is considered to be one of the top aides of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Watali, an influential Kashmiri businessman, is believed to be one of the Hurriyat's top financers.

After Wednesday's search, India Today reported that Watali's bank details were being check to find out how unaccounted money was being brought via Dubai to Kashmir.

The report stated that Watali's multiple firms were used for money laundering and to fund terrorism.

NIA. Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The raided places included the houses and office of Shafi Rishi, a prominent lawyer in Kashmir and Peerzada Nabi, a prominent businessman.

After the search, a senior NIA official said that a lot of incriminating material, suspect financial records, property-related documents and electronic devices including mobile phones, pen drives and hard drives were seized during the searches.

He added that some of the seized documents related to the receipt of money from suspect foreign sources and its subsequent distribution to "certain persons" in the Kashmir Valley.

Earlier in June, Watali's residences in Gurugram, Delhi and Srinagar were also raided as part of the investigation.

The Times of India reported that he was also taken into custody in 1990 when some anti-nationals were found at his Srinagar residence,

Previously, he was also accused of travelling on a cancelled/invalid passport despite knowing that he was flouting the norms.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 17, 2017 20:53 PM

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