Business India

ED opposes Wani’s bail plea in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday opposed the bail plea of alleged hawala dealer Muhammad Aslam Wani, accused of money laundering.

Public Prosecutors Navin Kumar Matta and Rajeev Awasthi told Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma that there are serious allegations against Wani.

“If accused will be released on bail at this juncture, the entire effort of the ED to unearth the large conspiracy would be a futile exercise,” the ED pleaded.

The prosecutor also submitted that the investigation is at a very crucial stage, since call records and emails leading to Pakistan, London, Dubai are to be scrutinised and the donors who have paid money to the accused are to be identified and examined.

Wani is involved in generation of huge money from various countries, including Pakistan, to fuel and foment unrest in Kashmir, the ED told the court.

The ED arrested Wani, currently in judicial custody till September 13, on August 6.

Wani had reportedly confessed that he had passed on hawala money amounting to Rs 2.25 crore to Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah. The ED had registered a criminal case against them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Shah was arrested on July 25 on charges of money laundering in a case dating back to 2005 when the Delhi Police Special Cell arrested Wani.

In the 2005 case lodged by the Special Cell, the court had acquitted co-accused Wani of the charges of dealing with criminal conspiracy and other offences but convicted him under the Arms Act, his defence counsel told the court.

The ED submitted that conviction under the Arms Act is a triggering point to take action under the PMLA.

It said that if Wani is released on bail, he can try to influence evidences. The agency also said that Wani had not joined investigation in the case and ignored summons.

The court has listed the matter for September 14 for further hearing.

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