15th July 1997

Jammu: The special task force of Jammu and Kashmir police has claimed to have unearthed a racket of Hawala and Benami transactions involving a top Hurriyet leader Abdul Gani Lone.

The Police said they have traced the bank account through which transactions of over Rs. 1 crore took place between June 1995 and January 1996. The money was received in the account by transfer or cash remittance on different dates during this period.

A police spokesman said that on a single occasion, Rs. 51 lakh was transferred into the account. Origins of the transactions are being investigated. The account was, however, closed in March last year as the Hurriyet leader is understood to have been advised against keeping money in a bank account.

During preliminary investigations, the police came across details about the entire racket by which funds collected or given to Hurriyet were allegedly misappropriated by their leaders.

Giving details, the spokesman said that Lone had spotted a vegetable vendor Abdul Majid Dar, in 1993 and persuaded him to open a cloth shop near the Rawalpura residence of the Hurriyet leader. A bank account was opened in the name of Abdul Majid Dar in Jammu and Kashmir Bank Rawalpura branch through which transactions worth over Rs. 1 crore have so far been traced between June 1995 to January 1996.

Dar said during investigations that the entire amount in cash or transfer of money, was given to him by the Hurriyet leader and the money was withdrwan by him from the branch whenever requisitioned.

After the closure of the account in March 1996, it was found that Dar was advised to keep the money at his vegetable shop. Recently, an amount of Rs. 10 lakh in cash was allegedly handed over to Dar by Lone. Of this, Rs. 3 lakh was taken back and the remaining Rs. 7 lakh deposited as a FDR for a period of 60 days in the J and K bank, Rawalpora branch.

This FDR has been seized by the investigating team. Police said the revelations proved that Hurriyet leaders were collecting crores of rupees by dubious means including Hawala channels. The money was kept in Benami accounts.

Return to Archives Index