New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches at 17 locations in connection with the Rs 177 crore Jammu and Kashmir Bank fraud case, the financial probe agency on Friday claimed that former J&K Finance Minister and National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather’s son Hilal Ahmed Rather had diverted the funds from the loan account to buy properties in the UAE and the US.
The revelations were made on Friday by the ED, a day after it carried out searches at 17 locations in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Ludhiana at places linked to Hilal Ahmed Rather under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ED said in a statement that the investigation conducted by it revealed that a loan of Rs 177.68 crore was sanctioned by the J&K Bank without verifying the documents and in violation of RBI guidelines to Paradise Avenue for the construction of a residential housing project in Jammu.
“A substantial part of the loan was siphoned off by Hilal Rather by transferring the funds from the loan account of Paradise Avenue to various entities before rerouting the funds back to the firm’s current account from where it was further withdrawn and transferred for the purchase of movable and immovable assets in India, Dubai and the US. Money was also spent on foreign tours and other personal activities,” the ED said.
“As many as three flats in the name of Hilal Rather and family members were acquired in Dubai and one Bungalow was acquired in the name of Hilal Rather and his wife in North Carolina, US,” the ED said.
The probe agency said that during the searches, several incriminating documents and digital evidences were been seized.
The ED had registered a case of money laundering on the basis of an FIR filed by the anti-corruption branch of Jammu Police.
Hilal Rather was arrested by the anti-corruption branch on January 16. The CBI had also registered a case on March 4. The CBI found that Rather had entered into a criminal conspiracy with J&K Bank officials to get the Rs 177.68 crore loan sanctioned in violation of rules and guidelines.
The loan amount was sanctioned for building flats but it was allegedly misappropriated by the accused using the bank accounts of his employees.
Rather had also submitted forged certificates and bills to the bank. The account was classified as a non-performing asset on December 31, 2017. The bank officials didn’t verify the documents submitted by Rather and also helped him siphon off the money. Rather’s partners in the firm — Rizwan Raheem Dar, Ghulam Mohd Bhatt, Daljeet Wadhera and Deepshikha Jamwal — are also being probed by the agency.