JK: Former minister in Congress-PDP govt Babu Singh arrested over hawala racket

Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday arrested former Jammu and Kashmir Minister Babu Singh in the hawala racket case. The arrest was made in the Kathua district of Jammu. “Based on information developed and shared by Jammu Police, Kathua Police arrested Jatinder Singh alias Babu Singh who was evading arrest in (an) unlawful activities case,” a senior police official said.

Jammu and Kashmir Police had earlier issued a Look Out Circular against Babu Singh on April 6. This all came into being after Hawala handler Mohd Shareef Shah was arrested on March 31 and Rs 6.90 lakh in cash was recovered from his possession.

“On the basis of a specific input that some unknown people are going to receive Hawala Money at Jammu, Several checking points were established in the Jammu city. On suspicion, police arrested one person, named Mohd Shareef Shah, from the Larnoo area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag,” Police said in a statement.  

The Hawala handler, identified as Mohd Shareef Shah, disclosed that he was tasked by Jatinder Singh alias Babu Singh (Former Minister and Chairman of Nature-Mankind Friendly Global Party), a resident of Kathua, to collect money from a person named Omer from Srinagar; after receiving money from Omer, Shareef came to Jammu but was caught due to timely intervention of Jammu Police. 

During further questioning, he revealed that this module was working with help of local as well as foreign associates. Two persons from Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) – Javed and Khatib – Farooq Khan of Toronto, Canada and three persons from Jammu identified as Gurdev Singh, Sidhant Singh of Kathua and Mohd. Sharief Sartaj have been detained for questioning regarding the hawala transactions. 

While searching his mobile, it was revealed that Md. Shareef is also ‘admin’ of a discreet WhatsApp group having members including but not limited to Pakistanis and Saudis. Police have recovered key digital evidence which is being probed by various agencies, including Jammu and Kashmir Police.

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