ED carries out raids in ₹250-crore money laundering case in J&K
Premises of Jammu and Kashmir State Cooperative Bank Limited former chairman Mohd Shafi Dar among places being searched in connection with River Jhelum Cooperative Housing Building Society fraud
The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday searched six places in connection with a ₹250-crore money laundering case in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
The searches included the premises of the former chairman of Jammu and Kashmir State Cooperative Bank Limited, they said. Earlier the officials had mentioned that the case pertained to J-K Bank. The fraud was in the name of the fictitious River Jhelum Cooperative Housing Building Society, the officials said.
According to them, the raids were conducted by the ED’s office in Srinagar under powers provided to the federal probe agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for search and seizure.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had already filed a chargesheet in the case against Hilal A Mir, the chairman of the fictitious housing society, the then chairman of J-K State Co-operative Bank Limited Mohd Shafi Dar and others for the commission of offences under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act in August 2020.
According to the ACB probe, Mir had moved an application to the secretary cooperatives, administration department of co-operative societies, where he sought directions to the J-K Co-operative Bank Ltd for a grant of financial assistance of ₹300 crore for taking over possession of 37.5 acres on the outskirts of Srinagar for the construction of a satellite township.
The application was endorsed to the registrar of cooperative societies Jammu and Kashmir for taking up the matter with J-K State Cooperative Bank.
Accordingly, the J-K Co-operative Bank in Srinagar sanctioned a loan of ₹223 crore without adhering to formalities, that is obtaining the details of the society such as balance sheet, profit and loss, account business, activities being done by the society, PAN number, income tax return, details of construction of the board resolutions.
The inquiry showed that the River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society has not been even registered with the registrar co-operative societies, Jammu and Kashmir, and Mir by acting in league with Dar and others had prepared a fake and fictitious registration certificate in the name of the society and managed the sanction of the loan.
The loan amount was disbursed into the accounts of the land owners but the land has not been mortgaged to the bank.
Further, an investigation conducted by the ACB has been successful in unearthing the siphoned-off funds to the tune of ₹223 crore and an amount to the tune of ₹187 crore has been frozen by the bureau.