08:03 Charged with murder, New Zealand gunman smirks in courtroom:
A 28-year-old suspect, identified as Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared before the court on Saturday on murder charges connected with Friday’s terror attacks in Christchurch, which left at least 49 people dead. He was remanded in custody without plea until April 5.
The terror attack suspect, who live-streamed for about 17 minutes his rampage through two mosques, is an Australian-born citizen and is a resident of Dunedin, situated around 360 km south of Christchurch.
The suspect appeared before a Christchurch court on murder charges, in white prison clothing, barefoot and handcuffed. Flanked by two police officers, he smirked when media persons photographed him during the hearing and was seen making the white power gesture, New Zealand Herald reported.
Throughout the hearing, Brenton Tarrant, who had a cut on his upper lip, remained silent and looked at the media persons in the public gallery.
In the worst ever terror attack in New Zealand, multiple gunmen carried out indiscriminate shootings at two mosques in Christchurch during the Friday prayers, leaving 49 people dead and at least 48 wounded, besides giving a scare to the Bangladesh cricket team which had a narrow escape.
Using automatic weapons, the gunmen, four of who were initially taken into custody, launched a “well-planned” attack on the mosques when devotees had assembled for the weekly prayers.
Earlier today, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed that gun laws “will change” in the wake of the worst terror attacks in the country”s history.
Condemning the terror strike, Jacinda Ardern had described it as a terror attack and said it appears to have been well planned. She asserted that New Zealand will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.
00:57 Terror financing: Cash, properties worth crores found in J&K:
In a major crackdown on terror financing, the Income Tax Department on Friday said it has unearthed undisclosed cash, jewellery and property papers worth several crores in Jammu and Kashmir.
Search operations were conducted at five locations in Kashmir valley and a few places in Jammu on Thursday, the department said in a statement.
“These actions are part of the Department’s continued drive against use of black money by disruptive elements in the state. The operations also send a message of deterrence and obviation to those intending to vitiate the democratic process of free and fair elections,” it said.
The tax department further said one operation was against a prominent Line of Control (LOC) trader who apparently used proxies to conduct large cross-LoC trade in the past six years.
“Large undisclosed profit earned by him has been diverted to allegedly suspect elements in the Valley.
“During the action, documents of transactions in the names of some of the proxies were found. Investigations are in progress to determine the clandestine cross-LOC trade conducted by the tax evader through the Custodian of the Trade Facilitation Centre, Srinagar,” it said.
The tax department also said the preliminary results of the search operation are extremely encouraging. In the aggregate, undisclosed cash of Rs 1.44 crore and unaccounted jewellery of Rs 2.48 crore have been seized.
The documentary evidence collected and examined so far shows undeclared property transactions of more than Rs 41 crore, primarily in the Kashmir valley and concealed financial transactions of nearly Rs 17 crore.
A number of hard disks have also been seized that prima facie corroborate the evidence found in the seized documents, the department said.
The department also covered a hotelier and a retailer of liquor in the Kashmir valley.
Evidence found in search shows that he has been earning large undisclosed profits on the sale of liquor as well as from his hotel business and he has not shown cash receipts in his books of account. — PTI
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