NIA raids premises of cross-LoC traders in J&K’s Poonch

The NIA said it seized documents, digital devices and other incriminating materials from the premises of the suspects.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday carried out multiple raids on the residences of several traders associated with the cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade in the Pir Panjal valley’s Poonch district.

A NIA spokesman said teams of the agency with the assistance of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, conducted searches at nine locations in Poonch district.

“The searches were conducted on the premises of the suspected LoC traders in relation to case filed in 2016,” the spokesman said.

The NIA said it seized documents, digital devices and other incriminating materials from the premises of the suspects. “Further investigation in the case continues,” it said.

The case was registered on December 09, 2016 under Section 17 of UA(P) Act, 1967 after the reports of misuse of the cross-LoC trade routes by militants and their supporters.

“Investigation into the case has revealed that some of the traders having excess imports were channelising the surplus profit generated to terror organisations while others are suspected to have links or connections with proscribed terrorist organisations,” the NIA spokesman said.

However, no arrests were made during the raids in Poonch on Sunday.

The cross-LoC was started in 2008 as a part of confidence-building measure between J&K and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The trade was based on barter system and third party origin goods were not allowed.

According to the NIA, the current case is investigating largescale transfer of funds from Pakistan to India through the import of California almonds (badam-giri) and other items via the Trade Facilitation Centres (TFCs) located at Salamabad, Uri, in Baramulla and Chakkan-Da-Bag, in Poonch.

“These funds were purportedly being used for fomenting terrorism or separatism in Jammu & Kashmir,” the spokesman said.

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