New Delhi: Mohammad Aslam Wani, an alleged hawala dealer and a close aide of Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah, was today arrested in connection with a 12-year-old money laundering case against Shah. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) produced Wani before a Delhi court that sent him to custody till August 14.
- Aslam Wani was arrested in connection with a money laundering case
- The case dates back to 2005 and involves separatist leader Shabir Shah
- He has been sent to custody and will be questioned alongside Shah
Aslam Wani was issued multiple summonses by the probe agency in the case, but he never appeared following which a Delhi Court ordered his arrest this month.
Wani will now be questioned alongside Shah, who was arrested from Srinagar on July 25, and others in order to take the probe forward, a senior ED official said.
His arrest comes days after seven Kashmiri separatists were arrested by the National Investigation Agency on charges of accepting money from Pakistan through hawala to pay people to throw stones during protests and fuel unrest in the Kashmir Valley.
Shabir Shah has been facing a probe in the money laundering case that dates back to August 2005 when Wani was arrested by the Delhi Police allegedly with Rs. 63 lakh and a large cache of ammunition of which Rs 50 lakh was for Shabir Shah, Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander in Srinagar Abu Baqar was to get Rs 10 lakh and the rest was his commission, he had told the police.
Aslam Wani had also claimed to have passed on Rs 2.25 crore received through hawala to Shabir Shah during the year before his arrest.
A criminal case was registered against Aslam Wani and Shabir Shah under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Wani was acquitted by a Delhi court in 2010 because Delhi Police had failed to prove that the money recovered from him was meant for terror activities.
The ED, sources said, now wants to probe the "proceeds of crime" of alleged terror financing in this case.
Meanwhile, Shah's custody has been extended till August 9 after the court was told that the international links of the case were to be explored. The ED said it also had to ascertain the source of hawala transfers and further distribution of funds.
(With inputs from agencies)