How Pakistan used almonds to fund terror and back-stab India’s good-will on LoC trade
New Delhi, Oct 04: The National Investigation Agency conducted searches at multiple locations in Jammu and Kashmir at the premises of suspected Line of Control traders.
The case was registered by the NIA in 2016. The LoC trade between India and Pakistan was started in 2008 as part of a confidence building measure between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The trade was based on barter system and third party origin goods were not allowed. The instant case is related to the large scale transfer of funds from Pakistan to India through the import of California Almonds (badam-giri) and other items via the Cross LoC Trade Facilitation Centres (TFCs) located at Salamabad, Uri, District Baramulla and Chakkan-Da-Bag, District Poonch. These funds were purportedly being used for fomenting terrorism / separatism in Jammu & Kashmir.
Investigation into the case revealed that some of the traders having excess imports were channelizing the surplus profit generated to terror organisations while others are suspected to have links / connections with proscribed terrorist organisations.
It was found that cross-border traders had been tapped by terror groups to help raise funds for terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Investigators were stumped to find out that terror funding continued unabated despite the decision on demonetisation wiping out the fake currency network.
The NIA has found that a food item would be imported from Pakistan at a very low price and then sold at double the amount in India. For instance, Californian almonds would be imported by the trader at Rs 350 a kilogram and then sold at Rs 700 in the Indian market. The profit investigators say would be 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 NIA official also informed.