Mobile phones seized from three men arrested by Madhya Pradesh police in connection with a terror-funding case have been found to contain at least 17 Pakistani phone numbers, to which the men had regularly made WhatsApp calls and sent video messages. Among the more recent such messages were those sent on August 14 - Pakistan Independence Day.
The three men - identified as Balram Singh, Sunil Singh and Shumbham Tiwari - were part of a group of five suspects detained by Satna district police on Wednesday night. The detained men reportedly had links to, and associates in, both Indore and Bhopal. The anti-terror squad had been tipped off to the terror-funding operation by police in Indore.
"Knowing that parking large amounts of money would bring them under the IT Department's radar, Balram and his aides didn't park more than Rs 50,000 in their bank accounts. Instead, they regularly transferred money into accounts of other operatives in Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand," AP Singh, Additional Inspector General (Special Armed Force) and spokesperson for Madhya Pradesh Police said.
Balram Singh, a former Bajrang Dal leader, and his associates allegedly got up to 10 per cent commission for every transaction. He was also among 15 men arrested in February 2017 in connection with a spying ring involving China-made SIM-boxes, and was released on bail last year.
The three men have been booked for collecting arms and concealing information with intent to facilitate the waging of war against India.
Meanwhile, global terror financing monitoring agency Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has placed Pakistan on the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (a blacklist) for failure to meet its standards.
The country scored low on 10 of 11 parameters to detect and contain terror financing and money laundering.
FATF had sent Pakistan a warning in June, urging it to fulfill an "action plan" against UN-designated terrorists operating on its soil by October.
Pakistan must now focus on avoiding being blacklisted in October, when the FATF's 15-month deadline ends.
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