JAMMU: Continuing its crackdown on drug dealers in Jammu and Kashmir, the Anti-Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) on Monday froze five bank accounts of a drug cartel. This is the first time that bank accounts have been frozen in the Union Territory under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act.
“The frozen bank accounts are directly linked with a drug cartel operating in Kashmir, headed by Masood Ahmed Dar of Bijbehara, Anantnag. The total money in these accounts amounts to more than Rs 54 lakh,” ANTF SSP (Jammu) Vinay Sharma said while addressing a press conference. Three main handlers of the cartel have already been arrested.
Giving details, SSP Sharma added: “The process involves proving such accounts to be proceeds of narcotics. Proper right to be heard was given to the account holders while the investigating officer proved beyond reasonable doubts that all money in the said accounts came from narcotics.”
Among the arrested handlers, Salman Khan and Amit Saxena were apprehended from Delhi for distributing psychotropic drugs in J&K, while one Jahangir Ahmed, who was the main supplier of drugs from J&K to other parts of the country, was arrested from J&K. “This cartel had been supplying hashish from Kashmir Valley to other parts of the country and distributed psychotropic drugs in the UT,” said SSP Sharma, adding that ANTF was investigating all aspects of the transactions, including hawala.
“ANTF is probing several other such accounts and properties — both moveable and immovable — and proper confiscations and forfeiture will be carried out soon,” said SSP Sharma, adding, “These drug dealers also include illicit crop cultivators, cross-border smugglers, peddlers, etc. ANTF will target the finances of these cartels, which is both their purpose as well as their strength.”