Traders suffer losses due to ongoing National Investigation Agency Probe

With the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the link between the cross-LoC trade and hawala money, Wagah border traders claim to have suffered losses due to this trade. Traders of Punjab, involved in trade from the Wagah border, had lodged a complaint with the NIA, claiming hawala money was being pumped through the cross-LoC trade.
“It was on the complaint of Punjab traders that NIA raided the cross-LoC trade centre at Poonch in December 2016 and also a trader in Jammu on June 4 and seized records from 2008 till December 2016, involving every aspect of the trade,” said a source associated with the trade.
Raids were also conducted at residences of separatist leaders in Srinagar and New Delhi. “The bone of contention between the traders of Punjab and LoC is the almond trade for which Punjab traders have to pay duty while doing business through the Wagah border, whereas LoC traders get almond duty-free,” a source said.
“Almonds received from the LoC reach the same market in Punjab where Wagah traders bring their stuff and there is a huge gap in prices for same-quality almonds, which Punjab traders are not able to cope with,” he added.
It was on their complaint that the NIA raided the trade centre in Poonch and trader Kamal Aggarwal in Jammu on June 4, he said, adding, “Aggarwal is not directly registered with the LoC trade, but he supplies goods to the traders involved in the trade.”
“Though not a single trader has backed out, but there is a huge decline in trade, which is affecting the overall scenario,” said a cross-LoC trader.

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