India has decided to take the issue of money laundering in terror operations on a world stage and the latest inputs that it has managed to piece together is an indication of how big this menace has become.
Investigations that have been conducted by the Financial Wing of the Indian Intelligence go on to show that nearly 24 billion US dollars have come into the Indian market and this amount is being specifically used for terrorism purposes. Worse the number of illegal transactions to fund terror has gone up to nearly 6000 in the years 2009-10 in comparison to 367 between the years 2005 and 2007.
A report that has been prepared to this effect has been handed over to the Financial Action Task Force as per the recommendation of the United States of America which had some time back told India to work along with this wing in order to curb terror financing. India also saw the need to work alongside the FATF since financing was an international issue.
However the IB which has worked as per the directive of the Finance Ministry has found that there are several high profile personalities who are involved in this racket. Intelligence Bureau officials working on this project told rediff.com that there are many high profile personalities who are involved in this aspect. These are just mules who are being used to give the impression that the money which is pumped in gets a legal look and feel to it. They have also claimed to have seized Rs 150 crore in cash from a couple of people after they got wind of the fact that this money was being used to finance terror activities in the country.
The IB says that Dawood continues to be the biggest financer of terror and in the report submitted to the FATF, they have made a mention of the same. His network has being growing very rapidly and since the past couple of months, the financing activities have gone up multi fold they pointed out.
Counterfieting used to be his major operation to raise money for terror financing, but off late that has come down thanks to a great deal of security which has been put in place. We have information that they are improvising in Pakistan to work around the security pattern but as of now this menace has come down.
However there has been a steady rise in the narcotics trade which itself amounts to billions of dollars. The D-Gang has upped this trade a great deal and have struck a 60:40 deal with the ISI sponsored groups in Pakistan. This would mean that the D-gang would have to part with 40 per cent of the income that it generates from this trade to the ISI which in turn uses the same for terror financing.
There is a lot of work to be done regarding this aspect and there is also a need to cut the finances at the source. We are sure that a lot of this money is being pumped into the Indian market through film producers and also businessmen. These persons hold the money for these terror groups and later it is picked up by the point men appointed by them.
The report to the FATF makes plenty of mention about Pakistan. The IB feels that there ought to be pressure from the international community. We can clean up our house, but to get something done in Pakistan, there has to be international intervention.
The money is being laundered into the Indian market and the most common routes that are being used at the ones through the UAE, Bangladesh Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand and very recently Sri Lanka also.
The money which is generated out of Pakistan is pumped into the above mentioned countries and each of these countries the ISI has set up point men who collect and then deliver it into India. In India it usually lands up with respectable individuals who hold the money for a certain period of time, until they are instructed to hand it over.
Conviction rate: While it was earlier mentioned that the number of cases which are pending in files in relation to illegal transfer of funds is 7000. However the shocking aspect is that there has been just one conviction till date from the year 2005. Legal experts say that the conviction in such cases is extremely tough. This is not an issue which pertains to just India and it has its routes outside the country. The evidence from the other countries is never forthcoming and hence it at the end of it becomes a case of presumption which is never good enough to seek a conviction. Hence it is essential to work around with the FATF and agencies of other countries in order to ensure a better conviction rate.