Businessman’s office, house raided in Srinagar by Enforcement Directorate

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday raided the house and office of a leading businessman and carpet exporter in Kashmir in connection with exports proceeds involving over Rs 20 crore.
A joint team of the Enforcement Directorate and Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday raided businessman Sheikh Ashiq’s office Al-Khuddam at the Sangarmal complex inSrinagar and his house at the Ahmad Nagar locality of the city.
Ashiq and his family are into carpet export business and also run a tour and travel agency under the name of Al-Khuddam. They also own hotels and restaurants.
“Today we conducted searches at two premises connected to Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad. We have found some incriminating material,” said an Enforcement Directorate official privy to the operation.
The directorate official said the businessman was given the opportunity to provide documents related to the export proceeds amounting to Rs 20.2 crore mostly between 2014 and 2015.
“He (exporter) has made no efforts to get the export proceeds realised despite the lapse of the due period of realisation. The exporter is also not cooperating in the investigation,” the Enforcement Directorate official said.
The Reserve Bank of India has also not granted the businessman an extension to realise the outstanding export proceeds.
The official said the businessman had not contemplated any action against overseas buyers. “It creates a doubt that the export proceeds have been intentionally withheld outside India since 2014-2015 for certain personal gains of the exporter and corresponding loss of valuable foreign exchange to the Government of India,” the official said.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the case under sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), suspects illegal transactions.
The National Investigation Agency on Monday questioned the sons of the chairman of the hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in connection with a terror funding probe allegedly involving the Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief, Hafiz Saeed.