SRINAGAR: The enforcement directorate (ED) on Thursday attached 16 properties of various arms dealers and senior bureaucrats of Jammu and Kashmir worth ₹4.69 crores in the fake arms license case being investigated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
Quoting officials newspaper Hindustan Times reported that the case was registered against several serving as well as retired bureaucrats, government officials and various arms dealers/brokers of J&K in 2020. A search operation was conducted by teams of the ED at 11 places on March 24.
These include residential premises of IAS official Rajeev Ranjan, JKAS officials Itrat Hussain Rafiqui, Ravinder Kumar Bhatt, and other government officials and arms dealers in which many incriminating documents related to illegal arms licenses issued in J&K were found.
“Sixteen properties of IAS and other government officials and arms dealers, agents and brokers Rahul Grover, Zumurud Hussain Shah, Syed Adeel Hussain Shah, Syed Akeel Hussain Shah, Abid Hussain Shah worth several crores are attached under the PMLA, 2002 and further investigation is being conducted,” the newspaper quoted the officials as having said.
Government functionaries including Ranjan, the then DC Kupwara, Rafiqui, the then DC Kupwara, Gajan Singh, the then judicial clerk at DC Office Kupwara and Tariq Ather Beigh, the then judicial clerk, Kupwara in connivance with many arms dealers brazenly flouted the norms under the Arms Act and have illegally issued arms licenses and generated huge proceeds of crime, the officials said.
“Further, documents pertaining to immovable properties purchased by the government officials from illegal gratification received in lieu of commission for issuing fake arms licenses were also recovered and a seizure of ₹93.5 lakhs cash from the house of Mukesh Bhargava, Rs. 65 lakhs from the house of Devi Dayal Khajuria and 1.7 kg of gold from Madan Bhargava was made from their houses,” said officials.
Reports also revealed that Rajeev Ranjan had purchased many flats at S.A.S Nagar Mohali, Varanasi, and shops at Chandigarh valued in crores. Rfiqui had purchased many plots and houses in various districts of J&K. Gajan Singh had purchased many plots, agricultural lands, houses in Kupwara and Jammu, reported Hindustan Times.