ED probing suspected links between Hurriyat leader, 26/11 financiers

New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate is probing suspected links between a leader of hardline Hurriyat leader, Firdous Ahmad Shah, and one of the financiers of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday. In a written reply, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a prosecution complaint against two people under Prevention of Money Laundering Act after the Jammu and Kashmir police filed a chargesheet under anti-terror law UAPA. “The prosecution complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate does not disclose any links of the two accused with the financing of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. However, the Enforcement Directorate is conducting further investigations in the matter,” the minister said.

The ED, which filed its charge sheet in July 16 this year in a money laundering case in the Kashmir Valley, has alleged that Shah, Chairman of Democratic Political Movement, received over Rs three crore between 2007 to 2010. The money was received from ‘Madina Trading’ located in Brescia in Italy and sender was claimed to be Javed Iqbal, a resident of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). However, after Italian police arrested two Pakistani nationals in 2009, it was alleged that the firm had made nearly 300 transfers in the name of Iqbal, who probably had never set his foot in Italy. The Italian police, while concluding the probe, had said the Brescia-based company had made several transfers using the identity of totally innocent, unsuspecting persons, whose identity cards or passports may have been stolen.

The name of Madina trading had cropped up during the investigation of 26/11 Mumbai attacks when it was found that the second payment of USD 229 was wired to Callphonex via Western Union Money Transfer receipt number 8364307716-0 for activating the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) used during the terror strikes. The sender of this payment was Javed Iqbal and he had used Western Union Money Transfer agent Madina Trading to make the payment to Callphonex.

Shah, a member of Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s hardline Hurriyat Conference, had denied the allegation and said the matter was in the court and it will be decided there. The ED has already attached Shah’s house at Abi Gujar in Lal Chowk, which was, however, released by the court and the matter is under adjudication. Besides this, Rs one lakh belonging to Khan have been frozen.