Four months after attaching his property, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in a big success, arrested Syed Saleem Jahangir Andrabi on Sunday. Andrabi, a key fugitive with a reward on his head, had been absconding in connection with a narco-terror nexus case in Jammu & Kashmir. This case is linked to the proscribed Pakistan-based terrorist organizations, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).

An official statement from the NIA revealed that Andrabi, hailing from the Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir, had been on the run since June 2020.

Despite his fugitive status, he was formally chargesheeted under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UA(P) Act) in case RC-03/2020/NIA/JMU.

Andrabi's arrest is considered a major success for the NIA as it strives to dismantle the narco-terror network and disrupt the operational ecosystem created in India by these cross-border terrorist organizations.

Investigation of case handed over NIA in 2020

The NIA took over the investigation from local police on June 26, 2020. The investigation uncovered that Andrabi was involved in a deeply rooted conspiracy to procure and sell narcotic drugs, thereby generating substantial funds in Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of India. Drug smugglers orchestrated this conspiracy in close collaboration with operatives of the banned terrorist outfits LeT and HM, based across the border in Pakistan.

The NIA's investigation revealed that the funds generated through this narcotics racket were channeled into Jammu & Kashmir through a network of overground workers (OGWs) to support and promote terrorist violence.

The case originated at Handwara Police Station following the arrest of Abdul Momin Peer. Peer's Hyundai Creta vehicle was intercepted, leading to the seizure of Rs 20,01,000 in cash and 2 kilograms of heroin. During questioning, Peer disclosed information that led to the recovery of an additional 15 kilograms of heroin and Rs 1.15 crore in cash.

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Since taking over the investigation, the NIA has filed multiple chargesheets, implicating a total of 15 accused individuals. These chargesheets were filed between December 2020 and February 2023. Despite these arrests and charges, the investigation remains ongoing, as the NIA continues to uncover more details about the extensive narco-terror network and its links to terrorist activities.

The arrest of Syed Saleem Jahangir Andrabi marks a crucial step forward in the NIA's relentless efforts to curb the menace of narco-terrorism, which poses a significant threat to national security. This breakthrough not only underscores the effectiveness of the NIA's operations but also highlights the ongoing challenges in combating terrorism and drug trafficking in the region.

Earlier property of Andrabi was attached by NIA in this case

In February this year, the NIA has attached four properties and seized cash in the Handwara in this case. One of the properties belonged to Saleem Andrabi

The properties belonging to the four accused have been attached in tehsil Handwara of district Kupwara by the NIA, which has also seized a total of Rs 2.27 crore in cash under Section 25 of the UA(P) Act.

The Immovable properties attached were the double-storeyed house of accused Afaq Ahmad Wani, the single-storeyed house of accused Muneer Ahmad Pandey, the house of Saleem Andrabi, and the double-storeyed house of Islam ul Haq.