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ED attaches assets worth Rs 11.86 crore of Farooq Abdullah in JKCA money-laundering case
New Delhi, December 19, 2020
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) today said it had attached assets worth Rs 11.86 crore of former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a case of alleged laundering of funds of the Jammu & Kashir Cricket Association (JKCA).
The attached properties includes three residential houses, one at Gupkar Road, Srinagar; one at Tehsil Katipora, Tanmarg, and one at Bhatindi, Village Sunjwan, (Jammu); and commercial buildings in the posh Residency Road area of Srinagar.
Besides, lands at four different places in Jammu & Kashmir have also been attached.
Among these attached properties, the residence and land of Abdullah at Gupkar Road and commercial buildings at Residency Road, at prime upmarket locations, are State lands obtained on lease, a press release from ED said.
"The other attached house at Bhatindi, village Sunjwan (Jammu) had been constructed by Abdullah on State land and forest land, where he has also grabbed State land and forest land," the release said.
"Investigations under PMLA revealed that during the period from 2005-06 to December 2011, JKCA received funding totaling to Rs. 109.78 crore from BCCI. Between years 2006 to January 2012, when Dr. Farooq Abdullah was the President of JKCA, he misused his position and clout by illegal appointments of office-bearer at JKCA to whom he gave financial powers for the purpose of laundering of JKCA funds. Investigation also reveals that Dr. Farooq Abdullah was instrumental as well as beneficiary of the laundered funds of JKCA. Despite existing regular bank account of JKCA, six new bank accounts were opened for parking of JKCA funds and siphoning of the same. One dormant bank account in the name of Kashmir Wing of JKCA was also made operational for the same purpose.
"Investigations conducted so far revealed that JKCA funds to the tune of more than Rs. 45 crores has been siphoned, which includes huge cash withdrawals to the tune of Rs. 25 crores, with no corresponding justification. Investigations disclose that for the purpose of generation of proceeds of crime, JKCA funds were layered by way of complex interbank transfers in all the bank accounts of JKCA and also by transfer to several personal bank accounts, followed by siphoning of the funds. Further investigation is ongoing," the release added.
IANS adds from Srinagar:
Former J&K Chief Minister and Vice President of the National Conference (NC), Omar Abdullah, was the first from the family to react to the ED order on Saturday that attached the properties of his father and ec-CM Farooq Abdullah.
While Farooq Abdullah appears to have chosen not to react to the ED order attaching all his properties, his son Omar Abdullah took to Twitter immediately after news reports spread about the ED order.
"Dr Abdullah is in touch with his lawyers & will fight all these baseless charges in the one place that matters - a court of law, where everyone is presumed to be innocent & is entitled to a fair trial unlike in the court of the media or the court of BJP managed social media," he said.
In a series of tweets, Omar Abdullah said, "The properties attached are largely ancestral dating from the 1970s with the most recent one built before 2003. There can be no justification for the seizures because they fail the very basic test of having been acquired as the proceeds of the 'crime' being investigated.
"My father has seen the media reports regarding attachment of his properties in the ongoing investigation in to the JKCA matter. Not surprisingly the media was tipped off regarding the seizure before he had received any official notice or documentation."
The ED has questioned Farooq Abdullah at least four times regarding his role in the JKCA scam being investigated by the agency.