In the fight against black money there are always two sides to it. The one we know and the other we do not.
While the Indian government continues with its process of bringing back the black money from various foreign accounts, there is another problem that is daunting the Indian security agencies and there appears to be no end to it.
It has been found during investigations conducted by the Enforcement Directorate in coordination with the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing that a whopping sum of around Rs 5,900 crore has been parked across 1600 branches of various banks in India which are connected with the underworld operating out of Pakistan and other countries.
Terrorism receives a major chunk of its funds through narcotic smuggling and the Indian routes are used very easily and this needs to be curbed at the earliest. This was the message the Intelligence Bureau headed by its chief Asif Ibrahim had to tell the Home Minister in the first official briefing to the Home Minister of India, Rajnath Singh.
A series of issues were discussed and the Home Minister was told about the core areas which were leading to the massive problem of terrorism in India. An officer part of the meeting told rediff.com that this was an exercise aimed at making the Home Minister familiar with the situation before a road map could be drawn out.
Indian agencies have an additional job on hand and that is to probe the twitter handle of the Indian Mujahideen. On the twitter account of the IM, it speaks of future attacks and also takes responsibility for the Bodhgaya attack.
Although Indian agencies are not taking the issue lightly, they however point out that is nothing but mischief by someone sitting in Pakistan. While the preliminary information indicates that it was a handle created in Pakistan, additional details reveal that a server in Canada was used as a proxy to open this account. The matter is still under verification and Indian agencies are seeking the help of the US agencies and also Twitter to crack this code.
Shishir Gupta, the author of the book Indian Mujahideen, the enemy within tells rediff.com that it appears to be a prank and someone in Pakistan is trying to make good of a situation in India. From what I can gather it is nothing but a mischief exercise, he says. Continue reading “IM’s fake handle, but motive not fake”
The association between betting in cricket and the underworld has often been spoken about and the ongoing probe by the Delhi police also points towards the same. There are names that are thrown up such as Dawood Ibrahim, Sunil Abhichandani (Dubai) and Anees Ibrahim. However the fact of the matter is that these persons are outside India and in countries which will not facilitate an extradition at any cost.
There is a lot of theory that surrounds the underworld link and although the police are sure about it, they are unable to take to a logical end. Dawood and Anees are in Karachi and hoping for an extradition is something that the Indian agencies can forget about. Sunil was in Dubai in the year 2012, but there is no guarantee that he is still there considering the fact that there was a look out notice against him in the year 2012.
656 is not a small number to have on the most wanted list of the Interpol. India is battling a war of sorts in trying to get these persons extradited into India with the help of the Interpol and unfortunately, the battle ahead seems to be extremely difficult. Continue reading “Will a change to International Noticing System bring back the terrorists”
Very recently a politician who was about to lose face parked a large amount of money in a bank at Mauritius. A confidential document to this effect goes on to show that post wiki leaks and the Swiss bank fiasco, a lot of the money transaction has shifted to banks in Mauritius. The bigger worry however is where there is black money terror always follows.
Mauritius is becoming a hot bed for illegal money and this is more to do with the fact that some of the banks over there have become extremely liberal. It all started with terror groups parking funds in benami names and now this has attracted money launders as well. A report by the International Monetary Fund too goes on to state that the Mauritius is becoming more global and hence the risk of laundering too has increased.
Indian Intelligence Bureau officials say that there is a great deal of investment that is being found in this country and it has become very difficult to track the original source of the income. People have been found to be investing money in the names of their brothers or distant relatives and hence the trail become extremely difficult unless and until there is proper assistance from the officials of that country.
Even terrorist organisations who are supported by the well established Dawood network have been investing in a great deal of property in Mauritius. Trails of these investments can also be found in countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.
Investigators have found it difficult to track the money since there is a lot of mixed funding that could be found in these countries. Investigators also do not rule out the nexus between some terror groups and politicians who have used these countries as a safe parking ground for their funds. There is a need to thoroughly investigate these cases and also bifurcate between the two forms of money that is being parked over here.
The Indian IB says that there is a need to scrutinise the banks or financial institutions in particular since these can lead us up to the trail. They have become extremely liberal in nature and according to the confidential document these institutions have been offering various sops so that parking the money becomes extremely easy. Interest rates of over 20 per cent, very little questioning and documentation have made parking of illegal money very easy. Moreover they are favouring investments from non residents and there is no proper track record of those who have been laundering the money in case the need for proper documentation to track the trail arises.
For the Intelligence Bureau the bigger headache has however been the parking of terror funds in these countries. There is a steep increase of funds in the past couple of years and it is going un noticed by the government over there. The international community has not yet woken up to this grave issue like how they have done in the case of the Swiss bank and until there is a proper awareness the issue is likely to remain unresolved for many years.
While India claims that it needs to support of the international community in resolving this menace, the rest of the world feels that a lot of money that is being pumped into this country is done through the underworld and the drug cartel operating out of India. The international community states that the money that is being raised through these operations is used directly to fund terror. The hawala remittance where India is concerned has been notorious in Kerala. However there are trails to show that such money is also being pumped into Mauritius as they find it to be safer over there.
There are various reports which show that in the past three years the hawala transactions into these countries pumped in by the Underworld/drug cartel and kin of politicians amounts to nearly Rs 2000 crore. All this money according to the report was initially shown as an investment from India, but mysteriously vanished once it reached these tax havens.
The Indian Intelligence Bureau says that there is a clear bifurcation in the manner in which these terror groups have been working. They have undoubtedly been using these tax havens to park their funds, but have ensured that none of their modules have been operating out of these places. It is a deliberate ploy on their part since they too are aware that they cannot afford to have so much heat in one particular country.
A group such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba has very safely installed its modules in countries such as Nepal and Maldives and they use the funds from these tax havens to carry forth their activitiy. In fact in a country such as Maldives they have managed to stake a control over the 300 odd isolated islands and their bases are being set up at a very quick pace. It is still a virgin module in Maldives and they would only use it against India when the time comes. These modules are building up slowly and today they have over a 1000 operatives at their disposal.
The worry is that they are facing no problem when raising of funds is concerned. Earlier the money raised through the drug trade and also counterfeiting was in circulation within India. However with the noose a bit tight today they have begun parking their money in these tax havens, which is surely a cause for concern for India.
India has its task cut out since any form of such activity does tend to affect us first. It is a constant cat and mouse game and there is a need to be alert at all times since terror groups have been adopting newer methods all the time. Moreover to make matters worse some of the politicians too have been using these tax havens and this gives them automatic protection since the policy to track such money becomes weak thanks to the high profile personalities involved in this money laundering racket.
The Home Minister of India, P Chidambaram said a couple of days back that he is sure that Dawood Ibrahim is inPakistan. While this any child on the street could tell the more important aspect about Dawood is not the that he is inPakistan, but the fact that he controls an empire directly linked between India-Pakistan and Dubai.
An dossier of the Intelligence Bureau in our possession would go on to suggest that he not only lives in comfort at Pakistan, but continues to run a very lucrative business. Dawood according to the dossier no doubt has a very large crime syndicate under his control, but the worrying fact is that he has also been running a couple of legitimate businesses which the Pakistan government is well aware of. This can happen only with the complete support of the establishment, Intelligence Bureau officials point out.
The business of Dawood has been split up into two-the legitimate and illegitimate one. While the illegitimate businesses comprise counterfieting, piracy, drugs, smuggling or arms etc, the legitimate businesses comprise garment trading, stock exchange dealings, cement and oil interests.
There have been a lot of allegations and counter allegations between India andPakistan regarding Dawood Ibrahim. The dossier on him states clearly that he earns at least 20000 crore per year through his dealings and at least 40 per cent of the same goes into funding terror related activities. This itself goes on to show that he is a golden goose for Pakistanand at any cost they are not prepared to lose him.
Dawood’s address from where he operates is known as the White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton, House No 37, 30th Street, Defence Housing Authority, Karachi, Pakistan. All his operations are out of this address and what makes India’s case worse is that this area is under the control of the Pakistan army. He also owns the following the properties in Karachi- A 239, Block 13C, Gulshan-e-Iqbal 25, Rufi Cottage, Block 13D Gulshan-e-Iqbal Ahmadi Apartments, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Meymar Arcade, Fourth Floor, Gulshan-e-Iqbal C-201 Karachi Development Scheme, Extension 1A Moin Palace, Second Floor, Ghazi Dargah, Clifton Khayaban-e-Samsher.
Dawood’s control over the Indian market is a big cause for concern. He is the one primarily responsible for piracy inIndia and he runs this racket through a business establishment called as Sadaf Trading which itself is worth over a billion dollars. He has interest in Oil in the Gulf nations, cement industries inPakistan, garments and silk inChina, stock exchange inIndia. He has also started exporting a brand of tobacco toRussia under the brand name Fire which is also doing well according to IB reports.
The money that he has been earning through the above mentioned businesses are mostly parked in India with hawala dealers and a large part of the sum is also kept in benami names in various banks in both India and Pakistan. However the money that is earned through counterfieting, narcotics and arms trade is kept in circulation and large chunk is passed on for terror related operations. The ISI insists that this money is also kept in circulation in the other parts of the world and each time he has tried to send money out ofPakistanit has always been through the India Nepal border. According to security experts, it is one thing to seek the extradition of Dawood Ibrahim, but what is more important is to keep his dealings under check inIndia. Dawood’s racket could be broken a great deal ifIndiaacts more seriously on his deals in the country, security experts believe. What makes him strong is the kind of money he is able to generate out of the Indian markets, they also point out.
ForIndiato extradite Dawood is going to be herculean task. Even if there is pressure from theUnited States of America,Pakistanwould go out of its way to guard the man. In the year 2006, he was shifted to Wazirstan by thePakistanarmy to avoid any assault by theUStroops who have branded him as an international terrorist. Dawood also has a safe hide out in Jeddah and has very often moved in there at the time the heat is high on him. He continues to use two passport H 123259 and G-869537 for all his travel and these were issued to him atRawalpinditen years back.
The IB says that his businesses continue to grow with each passing day. He is becoming a headache not only for countries such asIndiaandNepal, but his drug syndicate spread acrossThailand,Kenya,MalaysiaandSingapore. The worry however is that these countries not only become transit points for the drug or counterfeit trade. There is a catch and that is he also continues to create newer routes for terror operations. With the Lashkar-e-Tayiba making every effort to go international they find their biggest help in Dawood and his network. The Lashkar has been setting up bases inSingaporeandThailand. Most of the times it has been seen that most government have been linieant while controlling the drug trade and what they do not realise is that they end up creating a route for terror operations as well. The same has happened inIndiaand today the D gang finds an easy route to smuggle arms and also fake currency.
According to the IB, Dawood enjoys a comfort level that even VIPs inPakistancould be envious of. Going by the interrogation report of Ahmed Khwaja, aHyderabadbased Lashkar operative who has visitedPakistanthe comfort levels of Dawood becomes clear. He goes on to say that he tried to see his house but was unable to due to the big fort like structure. He also said that he was told that Dawood enjoys a 10 layer security ring which many VIPs too do not have in Pakistan.