The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday conducted searches at nine locations in Poonch district in connection with a five-year-old case related to misuse of money generated from cross-LoC trade for fomenting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
The raids were carried out with the assistance of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in the case registered by the NIA on December 9, 2016, under section 17 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a spokesperson of the NIA said.
On April 18, 2019, India indefinitely suspended cross-LoC trade at two points along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, following reports that it was being "misused" by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons, narcotics and fake currency.
The LoC trade across Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch district of Jammu region and Salamabad in Baramulla district of north Kashmir was intended as a confidence-building measure (CBM) for the population living in Jammu and Kashmir and across the LoC in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (Pok).
"LoC trade was started in the year 2008 as part of confidence-building measure between J-K and PoK. The trade was based on barter system and third party origin goods were not allowed. The instant case is related to the large scale transfer of funds from Pakistan to India through the import of California almonds and other items via the cross LoC Trade Facilitation Centres (TFCs) located at Salamabad and Chakkan-Da-Bag," the NIA said.
The spokesperson said these funds were purportedly being used for fomenting terrorism and separatism in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Investigation into the case revealed that some of the traders having excess imports were channelising the surplus profits generated to terror organisations, while others are suspected to have links/connections with proscribed terrorist organisations," the NIA said.
During the searches conducted at multiple locations, the spokesperson said documents, digital devices and other incriminating material have been recovered from the premises of the suspects. "Further investigation in the case is underway," the NIA said.