The Law Enforcement (ED) Directorate has provisionally attached assets to the sum of Rs 7.25 crore of an alleged defendant in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association case. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah is under investigation in the case and the agency had also seized his assets in the case.
The assets, including residential properties, seized by ED on Thursday belong to Ahsan Ahmad Mirza and some other defendants in the case.
The case relates to alleged irregularities in the grants awarded by the BCCI to the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA). It has been alleged that between 2002 and 2011, funds to the tune of over Rs 43 crore (ED is now claiming over Rs 50 crore) were misappropriated from JKCA coffers. These funds were part of the Rs 112 crore grant awarded by BCCI to JKCA.
“ED’s investigation so far revealed that Ahsan Ahmad Mirza, in collusion with other JKCA office staff, misappropriated JKCA funds to the tune of Rs. 51.90 crores and used the proceeds of the crime to settle his personal and professional debts,” the ED said in a statement.
As of 2020, ED had attached properties worth Rs 14.32 crore in the deal. These belonged to Mirza, Mir Manzoor Ghazanfar and Abdullah. In this attachment, Abdullah’s Gupkar road bungalow had also been attached apart from his properties in Jammu. Before that, he had also filed a prosecution complaint against Mirza. Abdullah has already been questioned several times in this case, with the last questioning taking place just before the DDC polls in 2020.
“Between 2006 and January 2012, when Dr. Farooq Abdullah was Chairman of JKCA, he abused his position and influence by illegally appointing JKCA office bearers to whom he gave financial powers for the purpose of money laundering from JKCA. The investigation also reveals that Dr. Farooq Abdullah was instrumental as well as the recipient of JKCA’s laundered funds,” the ED said in a statement earlier.
The agency had claimed that despite the existence of an existing JKCA bank account, six new bank accounts had been opened for the alleged parking and siphoning off of JKCA funds. A dormant bank account in the name of JKCA’s Kashmir Wing has also been made operational for the same purpose, the agency said.
Omar Abdullah then refuted claims that the properties were ancestral. “The attached properties are largely ancestral dating back to the 1970s, with the most recent having been built before 2003. There can be no justification for the foreclosures as they fail the very basic test of having been acquired as proceeds of ‘crime’ under investigation,” Omar said in a tweet.
The ED case is based on a 2015 CBI FIR. In July 2018, CBI filed a charge sheet in the case. He indicted Farooq Abdullah and three others – then JKCA General Secretary Md Saleem Khan and then Treasurer Ahsan Ahmad Mirza, as well as J&K Bank executive Bashir Ahmad Misgar – under the provisions of the Ranbir Penal Code relating to criminal association and criminal breach of trust. He alleged that “Abdullah had colluded with the treasurer of JKCA and others for wrongful misappropriation and embezzlement”.