Today, Presiding Officer Fast Track Court Khalil Choudhary granted five days of police custody of ex-Minister Jatinder Singh alias Babu Singh and Mohammad Shareef Shah in an alleged Hawala trade.

The order has been passed in an application filed by DySP Sachit Sharma, SDPO Gandhi Nagar Jammu seeking Police remand of accused persons, namely Mohd Shareef Shah, son of Abdul Ghani Shah of Syed Pora Larnoo Kokernag and Jatinder Singh alias Babu Singh of Kathua for ten days.

The CD file was also produced, reflecting that the accused are said to be involved in the case vide FIR No 73/2022 for the commission of offence under Sections 17/18 UlA Act.

After perusal of the CD file, the Presiding Officer observed, “the case diary transpires that consequent upon the involvement of accused persons in the commission of the offence, accused persons were taken into custody”, adding “grounds for remand seems to be genuine and well-founded which authorize the further detention of accused persons in Police custody”.

Accordingly, the court granted five days of police remand of the accused persons and directed Investigating Officer to conduct regular medical checkups of the accused persons during the remand period.

It is worth mentioning that police arrested Shareef Shah from the Gandhi Nagar area last night and recovered Rs 6.9 lakh from his possession. He was subjected to questioning, during which he disclosed that he was tasked by Jatinder Singh alias Babu Singh of Kathua, presently Chairman of Nature Mankind Friendly Global Party, to collect money from one Omer at Srinagar.

After receiving cash, Shareef came to Jammu and was caught by the police. The money was likely to be delivered to Babu Singh and his associates. Shareef further revealed the names of his local and foreign associates, including Javed and Khatib, residents of Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) and Farooq Khan of Toronto, Canada.

The hawala network was reported to have originated from Pakistan, PoJK and Canada, and sources said that “further links of foreign involvement will be known during investigations”. Mohammad Shareef was also Admin of a secret WhatsApp Group having members from different countries, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

In view of this, the possibility that the hawala network might have spread to Saudi Arabia also is not ruled out.