Indian agencies unearthed the fact that California almonds, known worldwide for their high nutritional value, are being used by Pakistan militants to smuggle them into India through the border check posts in Kashmir to use as a mode to earn profits which are then funneled to terrorists and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir. The almonds produced in California in the United States have been regularly finding their way through the Line of Control (LoC) check post trade involving a large transport network.
M O of the Pakistani traders
The modus operandi (MO) of the Pakistani traders is to under-invoice products like California almonds. After receiving the consignment, traders on the Indian side sell California almonds at the prevailing market price and make humongous profits due to the under-invoicing, a security official said.
Pakistan’s spy agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and their militant outfits identify a suitable Pakistani trader firm and hand over the money that is to be transferred to the anti-national elements and terrorist organizations on the Indian side, said an Indian Intelligence official.
The extra money generated is handed over by the traders to terrorists, separatists or anti-national elements in the Kashmir valley to fuel anti-India activities, the official said.
It has also come to the notice of security agencies that a significant number of trading concerns engaged in cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade are being operated by persons closely associated with banned terrorist organizations, especially the Hizbul Mujahideen. Some Indian nationals who have crossed over to Pakistan and joined militant organizations have opened trading firms in the neighboring country.
As a result, many Pak-based trading firms under the control of militant organizations are trading with firms operated by their relatives in the Indian side. India on April 18, indefinitely suspended cross-LoC trade at two points along the Line of Control effective Friday, following reports that it was being “misused” by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons, narcotics, and fake currency.
Businessman Zahoo Ahmed Watali, who is currently in jail in terror funding cases, was the president of LoC traders association and he was found to be funneling money to terrorists, separatists and subversive elements in the valley. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already attached his property worth crores of rupees and further investigations are still on. The National Investigation Agency has decoded the modus operandi of dubious hawala transactions for terror financing.
Pakistan’s spy agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and their militant outfits identify a suitable Pakistani trader firm and hand over the money that is to be transferred to the anti-national elements and terrorist organizations on the Indian side, said an Indian Intelligence official. In this trade, fake Indian currency notes were also transported by the ISI to India. Consignments of fake Indian currency notes have also been seized in the range of Rs.57 lakhs, Rs.20 lakhs, Rs.15 lakhs, and Rs.7.5 lakh and over a dozen people arrested.
“In the light of such large-scale misuse and loopholes being exploited for illegal and anti-national activities, Government of India has been compelled to suspend the LoC trade from Friday,” the official said, explain how the trading of almonds from California was misused.