Alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani, arrested in connection with a decade-old money laundering case involving Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah, was sent on Sunday to judicial custody (JC) by a Delhi court on a plea of the probe agency. Duty Magistrate Jasjeet Kaur allowed the plea of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after advocate N K Matta, appearing for the investigating agency, submitted that Wani be send to JC. He was remanded in JC till August 31. Thirty-six-year-old Wani was produced before the court on expiry of his two-week custodial interrogation, the maximum the ED could be granted under the law.
He was arrested on August 6 by the ED after a sessions court here had issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him and sent him to eight-day ED custody. An open-ended NBW, unlike the NBW, does not carry a time limit for its execution.
According to an ED official, Wani was arrested in Srinagar with the help of the state police and later brought to Delhi. The ED had issued multiple summonses for his appearance in the case, but he did not present himself before it. Shabir Shah was arrested by the agency from Srinagar on July 26.
The ED action against the two was in pursuance of an August 2005 case in which the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Wani. He had allegedly claimed to have passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah.
In 2010, a Delhi court had cleared Wani of terror funding charges, but had convicted him under the Arms Act. The ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shah and Wani.
Wani, at the time of his arrest, was allegedly found in possession of Rs 63 lakh received by him through hawala channels from the Middle East, and a large cache of ammunition, on August 26, 2005.
During questioning, he had told the agency that out of that amount, Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah and Rs 10 lakh to Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander in Srinagar Abu Baqar, and that the rest of it was his commission, it was stated in the FIR.