India to Confiscate Assets of a N-E Insurgent Chief in Nepal
Niranjan Hojai, the Commander-In-Chief of Black Widow
NEW DELHI: Indian probe agencies, in an unusual case, will soon be impounding foreign assets accrued from terror funds by taking possession of Nepal-based bank accounts and immovable properties allegedly operated by the chief of a prominent Northeast insurgent group, ‘Black Widow’.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) received consent by the neighbouring Nepal, after over a two-year long diplomatic and legal cooperation between investigation and enforcement agencies of India and Nepal, to attach the assets of Niranjan Hojai alias Nirmal Rai, the ‘Commander-in-Chief’ of insurgent outfit Dima Halam Daogah-Jewel (Black Widow), which has been operational in the north-east state of Assam for many years.
Kathmandu helped the Indian officials to identify the alleged assets of Hojai in their country after a series of exchanges of crime dossiers between the two countries. The assets primarily includes a house in the Sunsari area and a few bank accounts with some “substantial” funds in them.
The ED officials, the sources told the PTI, were able to satisfy their Nepali counterparts that its money laundering case (registered in 2010) against Hojai was water-tight and the attachment of these assets would help it crack down on a major terror financing network.
This is particularly true at a time when India is looking in all directions in order to curb and dismantle instances of black money and illegal funds stashed abroad.
Further, Letters Ragtory or judicial requests were also sent to Nepal sometimes back in this case under the stringent criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
ED will soon be conducting attachment proceedings in this case and will then be able to take the possession of these assets based in a foreign land.
Also, it has already registered a criminal FIR in this case after taking cognisance of a National Investigation Agency (NIA) complaint against Hojai, his outfit, and a few others.
Hojai, the Commander-in-Chief of Black Widow, who is currently out on interim bail in Assam keeps getting his bail renewed every six months.
Black Widow’ is a breakaway faction of ethnic Dimasa insurgent outfit (DHD) in Assam which claims to fight for safeguarding the identity of Dimasa tribe by demanding to create a separate homeland for them within the constitutional framework.
Money laundering, black money and money derived from crime and terror activities is a huge problem that our country is presently facing. Earlier, in only two cases, ED had got success and recovered black money, generated through money laundering, from Australia and Switzerland a few years ago.
This case is seen as a golden chance to nail down crime money acquired from the terror activities that are carried out in our nation and then kept safe abroad without anybodys knowledge.