The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday attached multiple properties of National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah, valued around Rs 11.86 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the laundering of funds of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA).
As per an official statement, the attached properties include three residential houses, one at Gupkar Road, Srinagar; one at Tehsil Katipora, Tanmarg, and one at Bhatindi, in Sunjwan village of Jammu; along with commercial buildings at posh Residency Road area of Srinagar. Beside lands at four different places in Jammu and Kashmir have also been attached. The ED said its probe disclosed that out of the aforesaid attached properties the residence and land of Abdullah at Gupkar Road and commercial buildings at Residency Road, at prime upmarket locations, are basically state lands obtained on lease. “It was also disclosed that the attached house at Bhatindi had been constructed by Abdullah on state land and forest land, where he has also grabbed state land and forest land.” Between 2005-2006 to December 2011, the JKCA received funding of a total amount of Rs 109.78 from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“Between years 2006 to January 2012, when Abdullah was the president of the JKCA, he misused his position and clout by illegal appointments of office bearer at the JKCA to whom he gave financial powers for the purpose of laundering of the JKCA funds. The investigation clearly brings out that Abdullah was instrumental as well as the beneficiary of the laundered funds of the JKCA,” the statement read.
The investigation agency informed that despite the existing regular bank account of the JKCA, six new bank accounts were opened for parking of the JKCA funds and siphoning of the same. “One dormant bank account in the name of Kashmir Wing of the JKCA was also made operational for the same purpose. During investigations so far it has surfaced that the JKCA funds to the tune of more than Rs 45 crores has been siphoned, which includes heavy cash withdrawals of around Rs 25 crores, with no corresponding justification,” it stated further.