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ED traces money trail to Nepal via Singapore

In its report, the directorate has elaborated on the route through which the money travelled.

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published: January 2, 2015 4:43:07 am

In a major breakthrough in a terror funding case in Assam, the Enforcement Directorate has traced the money trail that starts from the Northeast state’s North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) and ends in Nepal via Singapore.

The money, converted into US dollars, reached the rebel groups including DHD (Dima Halam Daogah) and some National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) factions too, revealed investigations.

The case that was lodged in 2009 was initially investigated by NIA before being handed over to the ED for tracing the money trail. The ED has completed its investigation and submitted its chargesheet in which it has named Mohet Hojai, former secretary general of the NCHAC, for routing the government money to the rebel groups via contractors of several projects.

In its report, the directorate has elaborated on the route through which the money travelled. The money that was extorted from NCHAC first reached the contractors and then the sub-contractors, who handed it over to Niranjan Hojai, the commander-in-chief  of the rebel group DHD. Hojai transferred the money to Singapore using at least 12 Hawala operators in Kolkata and Guwahati. In Singapore, the money was converted into US dollars and sent to Nepal.

In Nepal, the money was deposited in four foreign banks with a part of it being invested in landed assets. Hojai got settled in Nepal, changed his name as Nirmal Rai and married a woman Sarita Giri. Sarita, when interrogated by the ED, confessed that she used to operate the accounts and that her marriage with Hojai was “marriage of convenience”. She is said to have told the investigators that the modus operandi to route the money has been adopted by all other factions of NDFB too.

The ED has seized US $ 2 lakh from bank accounts in Nepal and Rs 1.30 crore from another account while land assets worth Rs 4 crore have also been seized. The ED has already submitted a detailed report on money circulation by terror groups. It is likely to take up terror funding and arms smuggling cases of NDFB(S) that is responsible for the massacre in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts in Assam.

BJP team visits relief camps

Alipurduar: BJP MP from Darjeeling S S Ahluwalia on Thursday alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not serious about the condition of Assam refugees came to the state following last week’s NDFB(S) militants attack, killing 81 lives. Ahluwalia, who was accompanied by West Bengal BJP General Secretary Biswapriyo Roy Chowdhury and four other party leaders to the relief camps in Kumargram, said Mamata should have taken up the refugees’ safe passage issue with Assam CM Tarun Gogoi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh instead of making a “token sojourn” to the area. The team will submit a report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah about the visit. (PTI)

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