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ED attaches Farooq Abdullah’s nearly Rs 12 Crore assets

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JKCA money laundering case…

New Delhi/Srinagar: The ED has attached assets worth Rs 11.86 crore of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah and others in connection with its money laundering probe linked to alleged financial irregularities in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, official sources said on Saturday.

They said the agency has issued a provisional attachment order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the attached properties are located in Jammu and Srinagar.

The attached properties include three residential houses, one at Gupkar Road, Srinagar; one at Katipora, Tehsil Tangmarg, and one at Bhatindi, Village Sunjwan, (Jammu); commercial buildings at posh Residency Road area of Srinagar. Besides lands at four different places in J&K have also been attached, Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a prèss release.

During investigations, ED said it was disclosed that out of the aforesaid attached properties the residence and land of Dr. Farooq Abdullah at Gupkar Road and commercial buildings at Residency Road, at prime upmarket locations, are basically State lands obtained on lease.

“It was also disclosed that the attached house at Bhatindi, Village Sunjwan, (Jammu) had been constructed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah on “State land and Forest land, where he has also grabbed State land and Forest land,” ED press release said, adding that while the book value of these attached properties is Rs 11.86 crore, their market value is about Rs 60-70 crore.

The 83-year-old NC patron has been questioned by the ED in this case a number of times, the last being in October at Srinagar.

Between years 2005–2006 to December 2011, JKCA received funding totaling to Rs 109.78 from BCCI.

Between years 2006 to January 2012, when Dr. Farooq Abdullah was the president of JKCA, “he misused his position and clout by illegal appointments of office-bearer at JKCA to whom he gave financial powers for the purpose of laundering of JKCA funds. Investigation clearly brings out that Dr. Farooq Abdullah was instrumental as well as beneficiary of the laundered funds of JKCA,” ED said.

It said even as there was an existing regular bank account of JKCA, “six new bank accounts were opened for parking of JKCA funds and siphoning of the same. One dormant bank account in the name of Kashmir Wing of JKCA was also made operational for the same purpose.”

During investigations so far, ED said it has surfaced that JKCA funds to the tune of more than Rs 45 crores have been siphoned, which includes heavy cash withdrawals of around Rs 25 crores, with no corresponding justification.

“Investigations disclose that for the purpose of generation of proceeds of crime, JKCA funds were layered by way of complex interbank transfers in all the bank accounts of JKCA and also by transfer to several personal bank accounts, followed by siphoning of the funds,” ED said in the press release.

It said further investigation is going on.

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