Former JK Co-op Bank Chairman Arrested in Rs 250 Crore Money Laundering Case

SRINAGAR: In a significant development, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) executed search and survey operations at eight locations in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

The operations resulted in the apprehension of two individuals, identified as Mohammad Shafi Dar, the former Chairman of JKSTCB (Jammu & Kashmir State Co-operative Bank), and Hilal Ahmad Mir, Chairman of River Jehlum Co-operative House Building Society.

Both arrests were made under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The charges are linked to a case involving the fraudulent approval of a Rs. 250 Crore loan by JKSTCB in 2019. The loan was allegedly sanctioned to a fictitious cooperative society named River Jehlum Co-operative House Building Society in Shivpora, Srinagar.

ED’s investigation was initiated based on an FIR and subsequent chargesheets filed by the LEA (Law Enforcement Agency) in Srinagar. The charges invoked various sections of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) and Jammu & Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act (JK PC Act) Samvat 2006, corresponding to IPC and PCA.

The accused individuals named in the FIR and chargesheets include Hilal Ahmad Mir, Abdul Hamid Hajam (Secretary of River Jehlum Co-operative House Building Society), Mohammad Mujeeb Ur Rehman Ghassi (the then Registrar of Cooperative Societies, J&K), Syed Ashiq Hussain (the then Dy. Registrar of Co-operative Societies, J&K), and Mohammad Shafi Dar.

ED’s investigation unraveled a scheme where the suspects allegedly secured the fraudulent approval of a Rs. 250 Crore loan from JKSTCB on behalf of the non-existent society, River Jhelum Co-operative House Building Society. The funds were purportedly diverted as payments for land parcels, with no collateral security and a disregard for regulatory procedures. The actions are deemed to be part of a criminal conspiracy involving money laundering under PMLA, 2002.

The search operations yielded several incriminating documents, property papers, and digital devices, all of which have been confiscated. Both arrested individuals were presented before the Special PMLA Court in Srinagar on Friday. The court has ordered them to remain in ED custody until December 2, 2023, and scheduled further hearings in the matter.


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