NIA seizes Rs 91 lakh drug proceeds in narco-terrorism case in J-K's Samba

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Jammu, Mar 12 (PTI) In the ongoing probe into the Handwara narco-terrorism case, the National Investigation Agency on Friday recovered Rs 91 lakh concealed in a field in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, an NIA spokesperson said.

The recovery was made on the disclosure of five persons, who were arrested on March 1 from Srinagar and Jammu and are presently on a 15-day remand, he said.

'Based upon examination and disclosure of arrested accused persons, the NIA conducted searches and recovered proceeds of narcotics smuggling to the tune of 91 lakh. The amount was found concealed in a field in Gurwal village in the jurisdiction of police station Ramgarh (Samba),' the spokesperson said.

He said an investigation revealed that the arrested accused, Romesh Kumar, had received the cash proceeds of drugs from narco-smugglers based in Kashmir for himself as well as for further channelisation to different terrorist entities.

The four others arrested along with Kumar include Altaf Ahmad Shah of Ganderbal, Showkat Ahmad Parray of Bandipora, Mudasir Ahmad Dar of Shopian and Amin Allaie of Anantnag, who were arrested from Srinagar.

A narco-terrorism case was initially registered at Handwara police station in north Kashmir's Kupwara district on June 11 last year after police recovered 2 kg of heroin and Rs 20 lakh from the vehicle of another accused, Abdul Momin Peer, at Kairo Bridge.

The NIA had re-registered the case on June 23, 2020, and had so far arrested nine persons, including a branch manager of Central Cooperative Bank, Handwara, Afaq Ahmad Wani, and recovered 21 kg of heroin and over Rs 1.35 crore.

In December last year, the NIA had filed a charge sheet against six persons, Wani, Peer, Syed Iftikar Andrabi and Islam-Ul-Haq Peer (all arrested), and Saleem Andrabi and Muneer Ahmad Banday, who are still absconding.

The NIA said the investigation revealed that the accused persons, including Peer and Saleem Andrabi, were involved in cross-border smuggling and supply of the narcotic drug heroin in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country after procuring the same from their associates based in abroad, including Pakistan.

As per the charge sheet, accused Iftikhar Andrabi and Peer visited Pakistan several times during 2016-17 to meet the operatives of terrorist organisations Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM).

It said the amount generated from the sale of heroin was pumped by the accused to further the terrorist activities of LeT in the union territory. PTI TAS SKL KJ