In a major breakthrough in its terror funding investigations, the National Investigations Agency (NIA) has busted a hawala module and arrested 3 operatives of Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, an organisation run by Hafiz Sayeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to reports, the NIA had conducted simultaneous raids at several locations in Delhi on Wednesday.
The 3 arrested operatives are namely Mohammad Salman, Mohammad Salim and a Srinagar based hawala courier named Sajjad Abdul Wani. They are linked to the Dubai based organisation named Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation. Mohammad Salman, who hails from Mewat in Haryana, was reportedly in regular touch with a Dubai based Pakistani national who in turn, is associated with the deputy chief of Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF). The FIF is a front-end organisation of terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba run by Hafiz Sayeed.
Salman, according to reports, is from Uttawar in Mewat. He was initially into taxi and dairy business and after incurring losses, had turned towards hawala transactions. NIA officials have stated that he had travelled to Dubai and had got in touch with some Pakistani nationals.
According to reports, the Mewat resident Mohammad Salman is reportedly an old hawala dealer. NIA officials have stated that the group was involved in supplying terror funding through hawala transactions in many areas of Delhi and Mewat. NIA officials raided locations at Daryaganj, Nizamuddin and Kucha Ghasiram and have reportedly recovered Rs 1.56 crores in cash, Rs 43,000 in Nepali currency, 5 pen drives, 14 mobile phones and several other incriminating papers.
The arrested persons were reportedly receiving funds from FIF and delivering it for various terror activities. Officials have reportedly stated that the funds were also being sent to Mewat. The agency is currently attempting to identify the recipients. The raids on Wednesday were a part of an investigation the NIA had launched after an FIR lodged in July that stated that FIF is using hawala links to fund terror in India. It is notable here that the FIF is on the list of organisations in the first schedule of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) with prevention and suppression of terrorism (Implementation of security council resolutions) order,2016.
The Mewat region in Haryana has gained notoriety in recent years as a hotbed of cattle smugglers and criminals. The area frequently sees violent attacks on police forces and is considered a den of criminal activities. It also has a significant Rohingya settlement. The government had earlier asserted that many illegal Rohingyas in the region have links with terror organisations.
The NIA has been investigating many cases of terror funding. Last year in June, it had raided 23 locations in Delhi, Srinagar and Haryana. It had also raided the residences of Kashmiri separatists in its investigations and had arrested several individuals in connections with funding stone pelters in Kashmir.