Srinagar: The State Investigation Agency (SIA) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said that Bitcoin channels were used to push dirty money into the union territory. This is the first time that the SIA has been able to establish the use of cryptocurrency in terror funding.
The SIA also conducted a series of searches at multiple locations spread across Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. The houses and premises of suspects in Mendhar, Poonch, Baramulla, Kupwara and Handwara were searched in connection with the investigation of a case registered in the Counter Intelligence Police station in Srinagar.
According to sources in the SIA, the money is being pumped into Jammu and Kashmir for further distribution among terrorist organisations and secessionists, with the aim to fuel mass violence and terrorist activities in the region.
The mastermind behind this funding is from Pakistan and has been working in connivance with proscribed terrorist organisations based there. They further have the active support of Pakistani intelligence agencies, sources said.
According to a police spokesman, quoted by PTI, the Pakistani mastermind has been identified, however, his particulars are being kept confidential to prevent alerting other agents connected to him.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the dirty money originating from Pakistan has reached these persons. The transfer of money has been layered to prevent backward tracing of its origin, the investigation has revealed. While several accounts-in-the-middle that have been used to layer the money are outside J-K, the effective whitewashing of the Pakistani money has taken place through exploitation of loopholes in international Bitcoin trade,” the spokesman said.
He said during searches conducted on Wednesday, incriminating material believed to be hidden in digital devices, SIM cards, mobile phones and documents having a bearing on the investigation have been seized. Analysis of the data and questioning of suspects would follow, he said.
(With PTI inputs)