Furthering their probe into allegations of terror funding taking place through cross-Line of Control (LOC) trade routes, National Investigation Agency (NIA) questioned employees of the Trade Facilitation Centres (TFCs) in Jammu and Kashmir.
NIA sources said investigators, in the past week, questioned several government employees posted at TFC in Uri area however officials did not divulge details on whether the sleuths have been able to find anything incriminating. Sources said NIA sleuths have taken possession of documents related to cross border trade, particularly the import of California Almonds (badam giri), and were currently examining the same for further leads.
The probe agency in December last year had registered a case under sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) to probe allegations that “large scale terror funding has been taking place using cross- LOC trade route”. The NIA believes that a percentage of profits in lieu of cross border trade is used to fund militancy in the valley.
Confirming the development a senior NIA official told DNA,”The papers have been taken into our possession and our investigators will be examining the same.” According to the official questioning of government employees posted at TFC was a related to the probe but was a routine examination. TFC’s are government built facilities that overlooks trade logistic between two countries.
The TFC’s located at Salamabad in Uri district of Baramulla and Chakkan-da-Bagh in district Poonch are among the facilities which have come under NIA scanner. Registering the case last month NIA had issued a statement saying, “A large scale transfer of funds from Pakistan to India has been taking place, through the import of California Almonds (badam giri) via the Cross-LoC trade mechanism through the Trade Facilitation Centres (TFCs).
“This is in gross violation of the State policy of prohibition on trade in ‘third-party origin goods’ through this mechanism and Information indicated that these funds are being used for fomenting terrorism and separatism in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” NIA had said