NIA arrests two suspected hawala operators in Uttar Pradesh in connection with LeT terror funding case probe

New Delhi: The NIA has arrested two men, suspected to be hawala operators, from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh in connection with its probe into the activities of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba in India, an agency spokesperson said in New Delhi on Thursday.

With these arrests, the total number of people taken into custody in this case has risen to seven, he said.

The two have been identified as Dinesh Garg alias Ankit Garg (34) and Adish Kumar Jain (57), the National Investigation Agency said, adding they were "acting as hawala

The spokesperson said the central probe agency had searched the premises of the two men in Muzaffarnaghar on 3 February.

According to him, they were "in telephonic contact with some Indian gold smugglers, based in the Saudi Arabia".

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

They were found "paying the cost of the smuggled gold purchased by them in cash to their conduits and couriers", he said.

One of the conduits, the spokesperson said, was Abdul Samad, arrested in this case a few days ago. Samad is said to be a hawala operative.

He said the agency had found cash worth Rs 15 lakh, two note counting machines, a pistol and some ammunition, a laptop, four mobile phones and a few documents after searches during Dinesh Garg's premises.

It had also found Rs 32.84 lakh in cash, a Chinese-made pistol, some documents containing mobile numbers of associates and currencies of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, the US, Japan, Thailand, Oman, and two laptops and three mobile phones from the premises of Jain, the spokesperson said.

The NIA, in the recent past, had arrested Shaikh Abdul Naeem of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Dhannu Raja and Mahfooz Alam, both residents of Gopalganj in Bihar, and Touseef Ahmed Malik from Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

The case started with Shaikh being arrested from Lucknow in November last year. Investigations revealed that he had spent time in troubled south Kashmir and photographed some army installations, officials said.

Central security agencies, which interrogated Shaikh at length, told investigators about his accomplice, Tauseef Ahmed Malik, in Pulwama district, they said. He was placed under arrest by the NIA on 9 December.

Shaikh also disclosed during questioning that he had stayed in Pulwama, moved to various places with the help of Malik and even photographed some Army and paramilitary camps, the officials claimed.

Wanted in connection with a 2014 terror case and on the run since then, Shaikh told investigators that some important power projects and railway tracks in the Kashmir Valley were surveyed, they had said.

The security agencies claimed that Shaikh was roped in for a recce mission similar to that undertaken by Pakistani- American David Headley, who is serving a 35-year prison sentence in a US jail for his involvement in terror activities and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008.

Updated Date: Feb 09, 2018 08:34 AM

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