Home / News / India /  Riyaz Naikoo's Punjab aide, terror financing kingpin held by NIA

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday nabbed former Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo's aide, Ranjit Singh, from Haryana's Sirsa.

The investigation found damning evidence against Pakistan with the NIA stating that "Pakistan based terrorist organisations are using narcotic trade to generate funds for terror activities in India. The proceeds of narcotic trade are transferred to Kashmir valley through Couriers and Hawala channel for terrorist purposes."

The Punjab Police had traced inter-state links of Hizbul Mujhahideen chief Riyaz Ahmed Naikoo with the arrest of two accomplices of his close associate, Hilal Ahmed Wagay, from Amritsar on Thursday.

Naikoo, the Kashmir chief of the terror outfit, was gunned down in Pulwama district on Wednesday.

The NIA along with teams of Punjab Police and Haryana Police carried out intelligence-based raids in Sirsa, Haryana and arrested Singh.

Ranjit Singh along with co-accused Iqbal Singh are also prime accused in a case registered by the NIA in connection with the seizure of 532 kgs of heroin hidden in a consignment of rock salt imported from Pakistan.

"The seizure was made by the Custom Authorities at ICP Attari in June 2019 when contraband was discovered during inspection of the consignment. Investigation revealed that Pakistan based entities are smuggling narcotics from Pakistan into the Indian territory by hiding it in sacks of rock salt which is imported from Pakistan," the NIA said on Saturday.

The agency added that, "an elaborate network of importers, Customs House Agents, transporters and the operation is financed through illegal international hawala channels".

While the NIA had filed the chargesheet in December, Ranjit Singh had fled, evading arrest.

"Ranjit Singh is also the prime accused in the recent Hizbul Mujahideen terror funding module which was busted with the arrest of Hilal Ahmad Wagay, a resident of Nowgam, Awantipora, Jammu and Kashmir with 29 lakh in cash in Amritsar by Punjab Police on 25 April," the NIA said.

This money was being transported to the Kashmir valley to be handed over to Naikoo, the agency added.

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