March 2006 News

DP may question Mirwaiz in hawala racket

5 March 2006
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: Delhi Police and security agencies are likely to question Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer farooq in connection with a hawala racket in which a Dubai-based militant was arrested with a huge amount of money allegedly meant for Mirwaiz. During his interrogation, militant Nasir Safi Mir told the cops that the money was meant for Mirwaiz, official sources said. He also spilled beans about huge investments made by the Hurriyat chairman in Dubai, they said. Mir was arrested from a Posh South Delhi locality in February this year. Some explosives and Rs 55 lakh in cash, which he had collected from a jeweller, who has a business in Dubai, were seized from him, the sources said. Delhi police officials, however, refused to comment on whether Mirwaiz would be questioned. Mir, during his custodial interrogation, claimed the Mirwaiz had allegedly made certain investments in buying shopping spaces in Dubai besides investing in his (Mir's) money exchange business. The Mirwaiz, while acknowledging that he knew Mir, has distanced himself from allegations levelled by him. Mir, whose father was picked up in 2001 for funding militant groups in Kashmir valley, has claimed the money was part of the payment that 'some officials in Pakistan had promised to Mirwaiz for keeping his flock together in Srinagar.' The sources said Mir also alleged some of the relatives of the Mirwaiz had also invested quite a sizeable amount of money through him in various business and properties in Dubai. They said these allegations needed to be corroborated and for which the questioning of the Mirwaiz was necessary. Mir also claimed that Hurriyat leaders were not receiving funds from acorss the border regularly after the security agencies had virtually clamped down on the hawala dealings in the national capital. He also claimed he used to look after the Mirwaiz's foreign trips. The jeweller, who had handed over the money to Mir, has also been booked under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), which, however, lacks any criminal case, the sources said, adding, two other Kashmiri businessman, who had been picked up alongwith Mir, were released as they had been caught in this unknowingly.


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