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NIA Arrests Key Accused in Narco-Terror Nexus Case in J&K

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has achieved a significant breakthrough in a narco-terror nexus case in Jammu & Kashmir by arresting a key absconding accused on Sunday. The accused, Syed Saleem Jahangir Andrabi, also known as Saleem Andrabi, had been evading arrest since June 2020. Andrabi, a resident of Kupwara district in J&K, was wanted in connection with a case linked to Pakistan-based terrorist organizations Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).

Saleem Andrabi had been chargesheeted under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UA(P) Act) in the case identified as RC-03/2020/NIA/JMU. His arrest marks a major success in the NIA’s ongoing efforts to dismantle the narco-terror network and the ecosystem created by cross-border terrorist organizations in India.

The NIA took over the investigation of the case from the local police on June 26, 2020. During their investigation, they discovered that Andrabi was part of a deep-rooted conspiracy involving the procurement and sale of narcotic drugs to generate funds in J&K and other parts of India. This conspiracy was orchestrated by drug smugglers in close collaboration with operatives from banned terrorist outfits LeT and HM, based in Pakistan.

According to the NIA, the funds generated through this narcotics racket were funneled into J&K through a network of over ground workers (OGWs) to promote terrorist violence. The case initially came to light when the Handwara police arrested Abdul Momin Peer after intercepting his Hyundai Creta vehicle, seizing Rs 20,01,000 in cash and 2 kilograms of heroin.

Further questioning of Abdul Momin Peer led the police to recover an additional 15 kilograms of heroin and Rs 1.15 crores in cash. This significant seizure highlighted the extent of the narcotics operation and its financial implications for terrorist activities in the region. The NIA has so far filed chargesheets against a total of 15 accused individuals in the case, through various chargesheets filed between December 2020 and February 2023.

The arrest of Saleem Andrabi is a major step forward in the ongoing investigation, which continues to unravel the complexities of the narco-terror network. The NIA remains committed to dismantling such networks and disrupting the financial lifelines of terrorist organizations operating across the border. This case underscores the persistent efforts by law enforcement agencies to combat terrorism and its funding sources.

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