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Cross border trade: Pakistan backed traders doubled price of food items to fund terror

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An agent would procure food items from Pakistan and then sell it at double the amount in India, the profits of which would be used to fund terror

New Delhi, Jun 16: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out raids at multiple locations in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in connection with the Cross LoC and Terror Financing case.

The NIA conducted searches at three locations in Baramulla and one location in Handwara. The case on hand pertains to the generation of additional profits through cross LoC trade mechanism between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The funds generated were being used to fund terror the NIA has learnt.

Cross border trade: Pakistan backed traders doubled price of food items to fund terror

The trade began between two Trade Facilitation Centres located at Salambad, Uri in Baramulla and Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch district in 2008. The same was however suspended in April 2019.

The probe by the NIA revealed a deep-rooted conspiracy between the Hizbul Mujahideen leadership in Pakistan and the ISI. The agency had earlier questioned a commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Naveed Mushtaq Ahmed, following which evidence of terror funding through cross border trade was found.

It was found that cross border traders had been tapped by terror groups to help raise funds for terror activities in J&K. The agency learnt that a food item would be imported from Pakistan at a very low price and then sold at double the amount in India. The California almonds would be imported by a trader at Rs 350 from Pakistan and then it would be sold at Rs 700 in the Indian market. The profit from this was being used to fund terror.

There is a select network of traders that the terror groups have tapped into to further their agenda. These traders work under terror groups such as the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, an NIA official informed.

The NIA has also found a list of 21 items that are being imported by traders from Pakistan at a very low cost. Out of this the highest profit margin is for the California almond which sells at double the cost in India, the probe also found.

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