Taking the probe further up a notch to nail those funding terror using trans LoC trade, the National Investigation Agency has roped in tax officials. Based on a request made by the NIA, the Centre allowed officers of the Indian Revenue Service to help the agency in its probe.
The NIA has since December been looking into the barter trade at the Line of Control (LoC) through Salamabad in north Kashmir's Baramulla district and Chakan-Da-Bagh in the Poonch district of Jammu region.
The NIA says the tax officials would help in probing the money trail and also unearthing transactions made by some separatist groups in the Valley. The IRS was roped in by the NIA since it has the expertise to detect service tax, central excise and custom duty evasion. The NIA claimed it has got crucial leads from the analysis of voluminous trade-related documents seized by it in raids conducted recently in connection with this case.
There is a case of over- and under-invoicing in which almonds are brought in for Rs 600-650 per kg as against Rs 250-300 per kg. The huge margin in the trade is suspected to have been exploited by terrorists, the officials said.
According to the cross-LoC trade agreement between India and Pakistan, products grown in both sides of Kashmir will be exchanged under the barter system. The products included 'badam giri' (almond) grown in parts of Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir (PoK).
As many as 21 items are listed for trading between both the countries, they said. The trade of clothes, 'dupatta' (stole) and herbs is also under the scanner of the NIA for allegedly financing terror activities in the state, the officials said.
Traders from PoK were sending and receiving California almonds and it is alleged that the money was used for funding of terror groups in the state.