The Enforcement Directorate has uncovered the massive funding links of Tablighi Jamaat by conspicuous foreign and domestic individuals. Reportedly, the massive fundings to the orthodox religious sect are meant for expanding the Islamic missionary activities across India.
As per reports, 14 key people have been discovered who are staying abroad and used the financial system to mask the transactions using circuitous notes.
The Enforcement Directorate along with Crime Branch of Delhi Police and Income Tax department are examining the bank account of Maulana Saad and his allies to figure out whether these transactions violated the integrity of the banking and financial system as the money received in one account was transferred to another account within 24 hours.
A senior IPS officer said, “Such transfers raise doubts that Jamaat funds after entering the financial system were layered to isolate the money from the source and disguise the transfers. The hasty transfer of money from one account to another appears to be an effort to give it a legitimate appearance. We are also looking at Hawala transactions that could have been successfully processed or integrated in banking system.”
The Key Players
As per reports, the probe agency has uncovered the role of a person called Noor, who is allegedly a hawala agent of Jamaat. He is not in direct contact with Maulana Saad but with Abdul Alim who looks after accounts of the religious sect and currency exchange for jamaat. Noor operated as the front of Maulana Saad, the existence of another contact concealed his direct involvement.
Another person known as Abdul Rahim is involved in the chain with Abdul Alim to invest the money in different activities.
The officer revealed that the sons and relatives of Maulana Saad were found to be in contact with another suspect Rafatullah Shahid, who is involved in investing the finances of Markaz in different sectors and enhanced interaction has been noted with Wasim, a travel agent who facilitates visa and passports for Jamaat people.
Wasim is said to be a single point contact with Maulana Saad and the agencies are in suspicion that transactions took place mostly in cash to elude detection, which has compounded investigators’ difficulty in tracking down formal money-transfers between the two key figures.
ED is also seeking details of money transferred by Mufti Rizvi into Jamaat’s account from Sri Lanka. Another person linked with Saad’s family is Aslam who resides in Canada and runs many businesses.
Noticing the transactions from Aslam to Jamaat, agencies see him as an important source of funding for Markaz activities in India.
As per reports, jamaat’s chief also invested money abroad to generate finances through various sources for Markaz. As per agencies, the money means for personal gain is diverted for investment through a person known as Mursaleen. Mursaleen operates various business activities abroad.
Officials said that one contact has direct links with the family of Saad who takes care of visas and passports for people traveling from former Soviet bloc countries. A person identified as Haroon who is a Russian passport holder is connected with two other persons Inam and Mushtaq who have been making trips abroad for Markaz’s activities.
Another direct contact is uncovered is Mufti Shehzad, who allegedly traveled to 42 countries in the last two years and suspected to be scouting new contacts and sources of funding as well as working as a liaison and frontman for Maulana Saad in those countries. His links with another contact Jamshed is also being investigated by ED.
Accounts to be freezed
The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has directed to freeze Jamaat’s Bank of India accounts in the Lal Quan branch and examining all the transactions after suspecting that funds were allegedly laundered.
An officer revealed, “There are wheels within the wheel in entire financial networks which is generating money and further distributing it. We have sought details of all bank accounts, money that flowed in from abroad and within the country as well as income tax returns, however, they are not forthcoming. There is probably involvement of another 194 persons which is being examined but the complex layering is posing the proverbial issue of finding a needle in the haystack.”
The officer added, “We need to check both cash transactions as well as a paper trail to track Jamaat’s vast and secretive financial activities.”
Tablighi Jamaat says, “Have faith in due process of law.”
Tablighi Jamaat spokesperson Shahid Ali said, “We respect all statutory as well as constitutional bodies and authorities. Whatever investigation are being conducted we are committed to cooperate with the probe. We welcome all kinds of probe because we believe that until and unless the probe in not conducted properly, impartially, truth will not come out.”
He said, “Truth should come out and people of India should know.” He pointed, “They are absolutely clean and clear. That is why we are welcoming all investigations. What we are seeking is fair and partial investigation. Tablighi Jamaat will come out clean, as clean as Ganga water.”