Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah is likely to be arrested soon in connection with a case of money laundering registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The central agency has secured a non-bailable warrant against Shah from a Delhi court after he failed to appear for questioning despite repeated summons.
The agency had moved an application for a non-bailable warrant against Shah on June 9 and the court issued it on June 22. The ED called Shah seven times for questioning but he did not turn upon one pretext or the other. “Since he is not cooperating, we had no option but to move court for a non-bailable warrant,” an ED official said. Shah, who has claimed before the media that the case against him is “politically motivated”, was last called for questioning on June 6.
The summons were issued in connection with an August 2005 case wherein the Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested Mohammed Aslam Wani (35), an alleged hawala dealer, who claimed that he passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah. Wani was arrested allegedly with Rs 63 lakh, received through hawala channels from the Middle East, and a large cache of ammunition on August 26, 2005.
The ED registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shah and Wani. During questioning, Wani is learnt to have told the police that of the Rs 63 lakh, Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah, Rs 10 lakh to Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander in Srinagar, Abu Baqar, and the rest was his commission. The ED, sources said, wants to probe the “proceeds of crime” of alleged terror financing in this case. Once it has ascertained that, it could attach properties belonging to Shah, the sources said.