The National Investigation Agency has registered a case against unknown people in connection with the trade of California almonds across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, reported PTI. The investigative officials have carried out searches at the trade facilitation centres in Salamabad in Kashmir’s Baramulla district and Chakan-da-bagh in Poonch district of Jammu and seized 20 sacks of documents.
“We are analysing the records. There is a huge over-valuation of products that come from Pakistan,” an official told The Hindu. This came after the NIA got a tip-off that proceeds from this trade was being used to fund militant outfits in the state.
An NIA official told The Hindu that they had information that fraudulent transactions to the tune of Rs 2,100 crore at the Salamabad trade centre and Rs 670 crore at Chakan-da-bagh centre were carried out ever since the cross-LoC trade began in 2008.
According to the cross-LoC trade agreement between India and Pakistan, products grown on both sides of Jammu and Kashmir can be exchanged under the barter system. The trading takes place four times a week through the Uri-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote routes. While India exported goods worth about Rs 1,900 crore, it imported items for Rs 1,600 crore from Pakistan since 2008, reported The Hindu. Around 300 traders are involved in this barter system.
The trade was started as a part of a confidence-building measure between India and Pakistan to improve the relationship between the two neighbours. Earlier clothes and dupattas were found to be used to finance militancy, according to PTI.