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Court extends ED custody of Shabir Shah (Lead)

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) A court here on Wednesday extended by a day the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) custody of Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah, arrested on charges of money laundering.

Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Pandit allowed the agency to quiz Shah for a day more.

Shah was presented before the court on the expiry of his seven-day custody.

He was arrested from Srinagar on July 25 on charges of money laundering in a case dating back to 2005.

While seeking extension of Shah’s custody, Public Prosecutor Rajeev Awasthi told the court that the international ramification of the financial involvement is to be unearthed.

From the investigation it has been revealed that Shah has been in continuous contact with elements residing in Pakistan, in the garb of the Kashmir issue, the ED stated.

The agency said that Shah had received various hawala consignments for disrupting the peace of Jammu and Kashmir and was in contact with Tahreek-e-Hurriyat.

Shah’s custody is required to examine and analyse bank details, money trail and email records.

“The international contacts of Pakistan, Dubai and England from the mobile call details records have to be ascertained for their role in anti-national activities along with the terror funding into India through hawala channels,” the agency said.

“The source of hawala transfers and further dissemination of the funds have to be ascertained.”

However, defence counsel M.S. Khan opposed the ED plea seeking Shah’s custody and denied the charges.

Shah’s arrest relates to an August 2005 case where the Delhi Police Special Cell had arrested hawala dealer Muhammad Aslam Wani.

Wani had confessed that he had passed on hawala money worth Rs 2.25 crore to Shah. The ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against both.

In the 2005 case lodged by the Special Cell, the court had acquitted co-accused Wani of the charges of dealing with criminal conspiracy and other offences but convicted him under the provisions of Arms Act, defence counsel Khan told the court.

He also told court that there is no material left to connect Shah in the case as it was not proved that the recovered money was meant for him.

Shah is the founding chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), which is a part of the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference led by hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

–IANS
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Post Source: Ians feed

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