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ED quizzes former J&K CM Omar Abdullah in Delhi in bank money laundering case

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Omar Abdullah, former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister and National Conference vice president, was being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi on Thursday in connection with the 2021 J&K Bank scam case. The ED has been investigating the J&K bank scam based on an FIR registered by the CBI in 2021.

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The National Conference said on its official Twitter handle that Abdullah was called to Delhi by the federal agency on the grounds that his attendance was necessary in connection with an investigation. It said that though the ED exercise was political in nature, Abdullah would cooperate with the same as there was no wrongdoing on his part.

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“JKNC Vice President Omar Abdullah was called by the ED to Delhi to appear before it today on the grounds that his attendance was necessary in connection with an investigation. Even though this exercise is political in nature he will cooperate as there is no wrongdoing on his part,” the tweet read.

WHAT WAS THE CASE?

The case pertains to the allegations that property was purchased for use of J&K Bank at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai at a very high price to confer undue benefits on the Vendor.

The property was allegedly not required as there was sufficient space available with J&K Bank in Mumbai for banking operations and there were allegations of quid pro quo for facilitating the sale deed.

CBI had filed an FIR against the then management of J&K Bank for buying a property from Akruti Gold Builders, in Bandra-Kurla Complex in 2010 allegedly at an exorbitant price of Rs 180 crore in “blatant disregard to the tendering process under a well-knit conspiracy.”

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According to sources, the Mumbai-based director of the Bank, Nihal Chandrakant Garware, played a crucial role in the deal and alleged siphoning off crores of rupees from the bank through this property deal. Garware was recently arrested. Omar Abdullah is allegedly close to Nihal Garware and ED wants to know if he was involved in the deal.

2019 J&K BANK SCAM CASE

Abdullah is also under the scanner for a 2019 scam related to the same bank. In that case, the ED initiated its investigation under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering) after CID, CIK Srinagar, registered an FIR against officials of J&K Bank, unidentified public servants, private persons and others in 2019 for suspicious transactions in various bank accounts.

Huge amounts of funds were allegedly diverted by the directors of J&K Bank through bogus loans. Several bank accounts were allegedly used for routing money of public servants as well as some private parties. The bank officials, in connivance with these public servants, deliberately omitted to raise the alerts as required under Anti-Money Laundering (AML) norms, the ED had said.

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