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Crackdown on terror funding: ED to attach 25 properties linked to Hafiz Saeed and Srinagar businessman Zahoor Watali

The ED has issued a provisional order for attaching Watali's assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The case is based on a charge-sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency as part of its probe against Hafiz Saeed.

In a sustained crackdown on Islamic terrorists and their patrons, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached 25 assets and properties worth Rs 1.03 crore in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country of Zahoor Ahmad Watali, the banker and financier of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and Jama’at-ul-Da’wah founder Hafiz Saeed.

According to reports, the Enforcement Directorate has initiated the process of attaching these properties which include bungalows, palatial houses, and farmhouses across the country. The ED has issued a provisional order for attaching Watali’s assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The case is based on a charge-sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency as part of its probe against Hafiz Saeed.

Watali, Hafiz Saeed, Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin, and nine others are named by NIA in their case for “Conspiring to wage war against India and fomenting trouble in the Kashmir valley”. NIA also claims that Watali has received money from ISI in Pakistan, the Pakistani High Commission and a source in Dubai.

Reportedly, the ED believes that the large amount of money that was used to procure these properties came from the chief of Pakistan based terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hafiz Saeed. One of the immovable properties seized by the probe agency is located in Gurgaon and is worth Rs 1.03 crore, said an ED official.

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The Enforcement Directorate had registered a fresh case against Hafiz Saeed on January 19 on the basis of a first information report (FIR) filed by the NIA in June 2017. The LeT had carried out the terror attacks on Parliament in 2001 and Mumbai in 2008.

Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had decided to seize nearly 14 properties belonging to Pakistan-sponsored Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist outfit chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in Jammu and Kashmir in an attempt to clamp down on terror funding.

Recently, in a big setback to both terrorist Hafiz Saeed and its supporter Pakistan, the United Nations had rejected the appeal of Hafiz Saeed, the chief of UN-designated terrorist organisation Jamat-ul-Dawa, requesting the removal of his name from the list of banned terrorists.

Hafiz Saeed, who is the mastermind of 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, was banned by the UN in December 2008 after the Mumbai attacks which had claimed the lives of around 166 people. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan did not oppose the appeal of Hafiz Saeed despite tall claims of Pakistan taking action against terrorist organisations.

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