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ED attaches properties of senior bureaucrats, arms dealers in J&K

Last Updated on April 1, 2022 at 1:03 am

Enforcement Directorate (ED), Jammu has attached properties of various arms dealers and senior bureaucrats of Jammu and Kashmir worth Rs 4.69 Crores in the Arms license case being investigated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The case was registered against several serving as well as retired bureaucrats, Government Officials and various Arms dealers/brokers of J&K in 2020. Till date names of many senior govt. officials have surfaced and a Search operation was conducted by teams of ED at 11-premises on 24.03.2022 including residential premises of Rajeev Ranjan, IAS, Itrat Hussain Rafiqui, JKAS, Ravinder Kumar Bhatt, JKAS and other govt. officials and arms dealers in which many incriminating documents related to illegal arms licenses issued in J&K were found. Further, documents pertaining to immovable properties purchased by the Govt. officials from illegal gratification received in lieu of commission for issuing fake arms licenses were also recovered and a seizure of Rs 93.5 lakhs cash from the house of Mukesh Bhargava, Rs. 65 lakhs from the house of Devi Dayal Khajuria and 1.7 kg of gold from Madan Bhargava was made from their houses.

The investigation conducted by the Directorate has revealed that between 2012 and 2016, Deputy Commissioners of various districts in Jammu & Kashmir had fraudulently and illegally issued bulk arms licenses in lieu of monetary consideration. The arms license scam allegedly involving deputy magistrates was unearthed by the Rajasthan ATS in 2017. The CBI had registered a case following the consent of J&K government and further notification from the Centre in 2018.

Govt. functionaries of J&K, like Rajeev Ranjan, IAS, the then DC Kupwara, Itrat Hussain Rafiqui, JKAS, the then DC Kupwara, Gajan Singh, the then Judicial Clerk at DC Office Kupwara and Tariq Ather Beigh, the then Judicial Clerk, Kupwara in connivance with many arms dealers/brokers of J&K namely Rahul Grover, Zumurud Hussain Shah, Syed Adeel Hussain Shah, Syed Akeel Hussain Shah, Abid Hussain Shah, Vishal Dhar have brazenly flouted the norms, rules and procedure under the Arms Act and have illegally issued arms licenses and generated huge Proceeds of Crime. Further, reports revealed that Rajeev Ranjan had purchased many flats at S.A.S Nagar Mohali, Varanasi, and shops at Chandigarh valuing in Crores. Further, Itrat Hussain Rafiqui, JKAS had purchased many properties; plots and houses in various districts of J&K. Gajan Singh, Clerk had purchased many plots, agriculture lands, houses in Kupwara and Jammu which were purchased from illegal source of income he had generated by issuing arms licenses in connivance with Deputy Commissioner/Additional Deputy Commissioner.

Further, 16-properties of IAS and other govt. officials and Arms dealers, agents and brokers namely Rahul Grover, Zumurud Hussain Shah, Syed Adeel Hussain Shah, Syed Akeel Hussain Shah, Abid Hussain Shah worth several Crores are attached under the PMLA, 2002 and further investigation is being conducted.