India freezes accounts of over 3 dozen suspects on charges of terrorist financing

New Delhi: India has frozen assets worth Euro 3 lakh (over Rs 2.12 core) of over three dozen entities on charges of terrorist financing and money laundering of illicit funds, a latest report by global anti-financial terror body FATF has said.

The body has conducted a mid-session review of various countries and economic powers of the world in the wake of the increased activities of dreaded terrorist group, ISIS, around the globe.

The banned group has also been held responsible for the recent terror attacks in Paris which killed 129 people.

 India freezes accounts of over 3 dozen suspects on charges of terrorist financing

Representational image. AFP

As part of India's initiative against suspect funds and those related to terrorism, the FATF report said the country has frozen assets to the tune of Euro 3 lakh belonging to 37 entities till August 15 this year.

India is a full-member of this reputed global body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), along with other nations like the US, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

"In light of the growing threat of ISIL (Islamic State of in Iraq and the Levant) and other terrorist groups, the FATF has taken a renewed focus on the global threat of terrorist financing and terrorism and conducted a fact-finding initiative to determine whether all jurisdictions in the global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing network have implemented key measures to cut off terrorism-related financial flows, in accordance with the FATF recommendations.

"This report sets out the results of that exercise," a report prepared in this regard for the perusal by G20 leaders said.

The G20 nations, including India being represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Turkey's Antayla, last week had resolved to seek urgent and united global efforts to combat terrorism as the gruesome Paris attacks, war in Syria and the fight against Islamic State militants overshadowed the deliberations at the Summit.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 and it is mandated to set global protocols and standards to combat money laundering and other financial crimes with direct ramifications to terrorist acts across the globe. In related findings for India, the FATF in a report brought out last month, chronicled the use of banking channels to fund the activities of the banned terror group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM).

The group has carried out many attacks and killings in India including in the Kashmir Valley.

The global body, quoting official submissions made by Indian investigators to it, said the HM raised over Rs 80 crore in the last eight years for "furthering terror activities" in India.

"An ongoing investigation in India alleges that Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) has been receiving funds originating from Pakistan through different channels in support of its terrorist activities in India. HM is claimed to be actively involved in furthering terrorist activities in India and has raised over INR 800 million within the past eight years. This group has been designated as a terrorist organisation by India, US and the European Union.

"Funds raised in other countries are also reportedly being transferred or diverted to trusts and front organisations of HM in Pakistan. Once the money reaches India, it is distributed through various conduits at various places to the active terrorists and families of killed HM terrorists.

The report further alleged that "the banking sector was extensively used for transfer of funds to various bank accounts for the aforementioned activities."

"Funds have also been moved via money value transfer services. The funds are mainly used to financially support members of active and killed militants of the organisation, including family members. HM allegedly incurs expenditure on mobile communication, medical treatment of militants, arms and ammunitions, clothing and other military equipment," it said.

The report also mentions, without taking specific names, the flow of illicit funds for perpetrating terrorist attacks in Mumbai by Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Coleman Headley and his associates.

"Indian authorities investigated a large criminal conspiracy involving nine persons, including a US citizen and a Canadian citizen who cooperated with members of Lashkar-E-Taiba (LeT) and Harkat-Ul Jihadi Islami (HUJI), both designated as terrorist organisations by Indian authorities," it said.

It said these entities used to get "legitimate" cash and fake Indian currency to conduct their tasks like reconnaissance of valuable and iconic targets in India's economic capital of Mumbai.

"For example, on one occasion the defendant received USD 25,000 to establish an immigration office in Mumbai, which was in fact a cover for his travel and maintenance while carrying out the reconnaissance of potential targets for attacks by LeT.

"This individual also received sufficient high quality fake Indian counterfeit currency notes for use in India. The funds were also used to conduct reconnaissance of vital installations in India and Denmark to carry out terrorist attacks on behalf of terrorist organisations LeT and HuJI. In addition, funds collected were used to make videos to support future attacks by LeT and HuJI," it said.


Updated Date: Nov 19, 2015 14:11:39 IST