Srinagar, August 03: The State Investigation Agency (SIA) on Wednesday said that they are investigating a case about the exploitation of loopholes in the Bitcoin trade to push “dirty money” into Jammu and Kashmir.
As per an SIA spokesman, in this regard, the Agency conducted searches at multiple locations spread across JK on Wednesday. He said that the house premises of suspects in Mendhar, Poonch, Baramulla, Kupwara, and Handwara were searched in connection with the investigation of case FIR No.12/22 U/S 18, 38, 39 UA (P) Act, 120-B, 121,121-A IPC registered in Counter Intelligence Police Station in Srinagar.
The spokesman said that the case pertains to terror financing via Bitcoin trade.
“Details that are being investigated into at the initial stage include a mastermind in Pakistan who with active support of Pakistani intelligence agencies and in connivance with proscribed terrorist organization(s) based in Pakistan has been pumping slush money to their agents in J&K for further distribution among terrorist organisation(s), secessionist(s) for fuelling mass violence and terrorist activities in J&K,” he added.
He said that the Pakistani mastermind has been comprehensively identified. “His particulars, however, is being kept confidential because other agents connected with him are not alerted,” the spokesman said.
He said that the houses that were searched in this regard included
Zahida Bano D/O Mutwali Pathan / Khan R/O Hajinaka Manigah Hyhama, Kupwara; Gh. Mujataba Deedad S/O Gh.Nabi Deedad R/O Lone Hari, Kupwara; Tamjeeda Begum W/O Javid Ahmad Chachi R/O Satkoji Rajwara, Handwara ; Yasir Ahmad Mir S/O Shamas-ud-Din Mir R/O Dewan Bagh Baramulla ; Mohammad Sayed Masoodi S/O Sharief ud-Din R/O Trajpora, Baramulla ;Farooq Ahmad R/O Gagrian, Mandi Poonch, vii) Imran Chowdhary R/O Dharana Mendhar
The spokesman added that preliminary investigation revealed evidence regarding “dirty money” originating from Pakistan has reached these persons. “The transfer of money has been layered to prevent backward tracing of its origin, the investigation has revealed. While several accounts-in-the-middle that have been used to layer the money are outside J&K, the effective ‘whitewashing’ of the Pakistani money has taken place through exploitation of loopholes international bitcoin trade,” the spokesman added.
He said during searches incriminating material believed to be hidden in digital devices, SIM cards, mobile phones and documents, having a bearing on the investigation have been recovered and seized.
Analysis of the data and questioning of suspects would follow and leads that would emerge would become the basis of further investigation, the spokesman added.