PMLA case: Court sends Aslam Wani to ED custody till Aug 14

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New Delhi, Aug 6 (PTI): The Delhi court on Sunday sent alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani, arrested in connection with a decade-old money laundering case involving Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah, to ED custody till August 14.

Wani, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday morning, was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass, who allowed the probe agency to interrogate him in custody.

A sessions court here had issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Wani on Saturday after the ED told the court he had not joined the probe.

An open-ended NBW, unlike the NBW, does not carry a time limit for its execution.

ED’s special public prosecutor N K Matta on Sunday told the court that Wani was required to be confronted with Shah, who is also in the agency’s custody, in connection with the case.

The counsel sought 14 days’ custody saying that new information had surfaced during Shah’s interrogation.

According to an official, Wani, 36, was arrested from Srinagar by the ED with the help of the state police. The agency had issued multiple summonses for his appearance in the case but he did not appear before it. Shabir Shah was arrested by the agency from Srinagar on July 26.

The ED action against the two is in pursuance of an August 2005 case, in which the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Wani, who claimed he had 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 was arrested allegedly with Rs 63 lakh, received through hawala channels from the Middle East, and a large cache of ammunition, on August 26, 2005.

During questioning, he had told the police that an amount of 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 was his commission.

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