The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted searches at seven places in Kashmir in connection with its ongoing money laundering investigation in a case related to suspicious transactions in Jammu and Kashmir Bank, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
Among these seven locations, six are in Srinagar and one in Ananatnag district.
On the basis of specific information, searches at seven places belonging to Mohd. Ibrahim Dar, Murtaza Enterprises, Azad Agro Traders, M&M Cottage Industries and Mohd. Sultan Teli were conducted, which resulted in recovery of evidence of money laundering as the bank accounts have been found to be used for routing suspicious transactions, the ED said.
"The parties covered under searches are involved in hospitality and agro-based industries, civil construction and real estate. Statement of persons covered in the searches are being recorded to unravel the source of huge credits and debits in their accounts. Recovered incriminating documents and soft data are also being analysed."
The financial probe agency initiated the investigation in the case under PMLA after the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Investigation Department (CID) registered First Information Report (FIR) against the officials of J&K Bank, some unidentified public servants, a few private persons and others for suspicious transactions in various bank accounts.
It has been alleged in the FIR that the bank accounts were used for routing money of public servants as well as some private parties, the ED said. "Further, bank officials, in connivance with these public servants, deliberately omitted to raise the alerts as required under Anti-Money Laundering (AML) norms."
"Investigations conducted under the PMLA so far have revealed that the transactions in many of these bank accounts maintained with J&K Bank were not genuine and these accounts were utilised for the purpose of laundering. Further investigation is under progress."