New DelhiAs the National Investigation Agency (NIA) digs deeper into the terror funding case, astonishing details are coming to the light.
Among the nine arrested gang members, one of them had paid Rs 36 crore to buy banned notes. The accused identified as Pradeep Chauhan, 47, a resident of Sarai Kale Khan, allegedly paid Rs 6 for every Rs 100 note he purchased. The plan to buy banned notes was hatched by Chauhan a property dealer with a dubious reputation.
Chauhan had spent Rs 30 per Rs 500 note and Rs 60 per Rs 1,000 note. A senior officer said that the amount varied for buying notes. But they paid roughly 9-10 per cent for the banned currency but wanted to earn profit after exchanging the money.
Chauhan also lured Delhi Police Constable Bhagwan Singh, who agreed to be of the deal for conversion of amount worth Rs 2 lakh. Chauhan through a complex web of links was close to another accused Deepak Torani, a man who claimed to be Ex DG of DRI. As part of the conspiracy he travelled to Srinagar multiple times in past six months sources said. Chauhan took several flights to Srinagar to meet with other persons with dubious nature.
The gang’s key men in the Valley were Mustaq Dar from Pulwama who was in touch with two others identified as Abid and Shahnawaz Mir. While Mir was arrested by NIA, Abid has been called in for questioning by the agency. Other accused included a man named Mohammed Rafiq Ali, a resident of Kolkata.
Following the investigation, a complex pan India web of connections has emerged. While probe agency sleuths believe Chauhan on many fronts may be misleading them, he will be interrogated thoroughly. Many like Delhi Police personnel had no terror links but became part of the gang only to earn profits.
“All accused may not be involved in terror funding, some may be associated with the gang only to convert the money, a senior official said. If at a later stage it is found that they are not involved, they would be let off.
Highly placed sources said that the cash came from the Valley and other parts with an intent of conversion and recirculation. While close to 19 people were under radar, only 9 people have been by NIA.
The conspiracy was unearthed when NIA put surveillance on some of the now arrested accused. The agency sleuths intercepted the gang members on Monday at Jai Singh Road near iconic Connaught Place. The men were carrying 28 cartons filled with demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in four luxury cars.
With help from bank officials who were roped in to count wads of cash, the agency arrived at the figure of Rs 36,34,78,500 in demonetised currency.
NIA sources feel the exchange of money could possibly not have happened without nexus from Bank officials by tempering with the bank records. The NIA on Wednesday got custody of nine accused for 12 days.
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