Pakistan uses its diplomatic missions to boost the counterfeit currency in India, to finance terrorism

LONDON: Three years after India demonetized high-currency bills to take strong measures against black money, Pakistan began producing, smuggling and circulating fake Indian currency bills (FICN) of better quality to finance illicit activities and militant groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates ,.

Senior officials reveal that a large amount of counterfeit currency from Pakistan is coming to India using the pre-2016 gang system and infrastructure, its union, canals and routes.

The most surprising thing is that Pakistan has been misusing diplomatic channels in Nepal, Bangladesh and other countries to bring and distribute shipments of fake Indian currency bills.

Sources reveal that Pakistan's secret agency, the ISI, manages to create this coin of better visual quality than previous photocopied notes.

In May 2019, a recently released company D partner, Younus Ansari, was arrested with three Pakistani citizens at Kathmandu airport with a large shipment of Indian currency totaling 76.7 million Indian rupees.

The temerity of the mails was obvious from the fact that the stash was not even hidden, as in the past, but was thrown freely in checked luggage. The consignor was the well-known Pakistan-based FICN smuggler, Razzak Marfani.

Interestingly, Younus himself was arrested a few years ago in Nepal for conspiring to implement a paid job against an Indian diplomat in Kathmandu.

On September 22, Indian Punjab police confiscated FICN worth Rs.1 million. Sikh Radical elements belonging to the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), which also received five AK 47 rifles, 30 guns, nine hand grenades, five satellite phones, two mobile phones and two wireless devices, sent across the international border with Pakistan, through Drones

Again, on September 25, police in Dhaka confiscated FICN worth Rs Indians. 4.95 million.

A person based in Dubai 'Salman Shera' had sent the package to Sylhet in Bangladesh, which was sent to Dhaka through a courier service 'SA Poribahan'.

The detainees revealed that, from Sylhet, the shipment was headed to Sreenagar Upazila in the Munshiganj district of Dhaka.

The original consignment Salman Shera is the son of Aslam Shera, a well-known ISI distributor based in Pakistan at FICN, active since the late 1990s, senior officials said.

Prior to demonetization, Pakistan's embassy in Kathmandu was the nerve center of the FICN's operations, and used the city of Birgunj as a vital transit point for almost all fake tickets entering India.

Sources reveal that ISI had established a large network of agents from Kathmandu to Birganj and along the border, to send FICN shipments from Nepal to India. The ISI transported fake tickets through state-owned Pakistan International Airlines, or through the diplomatic bag to its missions in Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Doha, sources said.

They added: From these places, the couriers brought shipments in PIA or other international flights to Kathmandu or Dhaka.

In Bangladesh, Pakistan has been misusing diplomatic channels to bring and distribute FICN shipments. The mainstream media in Bangladesh are full of incidents, in which Pakistani citizens published in their High Commission in Dhaka have been expelled, formally and informally, for transporting FICN and for terrorist financing activities or.

At the end of 2015, the Second Secretary of the High Commission of Pakistan in Dhaka Farina Arshad was removed after Idris Sheikh, an agent of the militant organization Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) admitted to having ties with her.

Sources reveal that prior to this in January 2015, Mazhar Khan, an attache in the Consular Section of the Pakistan Mission in Dhaka, was similarly expelled after Bangladeshi intelligence accused him of selling FICN and providing funds to terrorist teams.

Mazhar Khan had cultivated Mujibur Rahman, a citizen of Bangladesh, and had sent him to India 11 times and for Thailand 22 times in just a few years, to circulate FICN.

The Pakistani Mission officials mentioned above also developed close ties with radicalized elements at the University of Dhaka, Pakistani International Airlines officers and a section of Bangladeshi citizens residing along the border with India in places like Lalmonirhat, Jessore, Thakurgaon and Benapole, the main entrance. points for FICN in India.

The proceeds of the FICN smuggling operations were channeled to terrorist teams operating from Bangladesh, such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Ansurullah Bangla Team and Jamaat Shibir.

The report of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing or related to counterfeit currency, referred to Article 3 of the Convention on Counterfeiting Currency (Geneva, 1929) that defined counterfeiting as manufacturing or alteration Fraudulent currency, whatever means are used. FATF Recommendation 3 designates counterfeit currency as a predicate offense for money laundering .

It identifies money laundering and terror financing as aspects associated with counterfeit currency, and these are, in turn, related with organized crime.

The report stated categorically: India has also reported on the large-scale use of counterfeit currency, both by state and non-state actors, to help/finance terrorist acts. The case studies in this regard provided by India expose the scale and intensity of the problem. In particular, there is evidence that multiple bases are being used to flood the country with counterfeit bills, trying to attack the country's 'economic security', in addition to using it to finance/assist specific terrorist acts.

The role of organized criminal groups in the production of counterfeit currency was elaborated in the FATF 2013 report. He cited the case of a seizure in February 2012 of fake Indian rupees hidden in a shipment from Pakistan through Hong Kong, China to Nepal.

The report noted that high-quality counterfeit Indian tickets were printed in Pakistan and then smuggled into India through transit points in Dhaka, Bangladesh as well. The other route to smuggle FICN was by smuggling across the India-Pakistan, India-Bangladesh and India-Nepal borders.

The production and smuggling of fake Indian currency bills by Pakistan exposes its dire designs to destabilize India's economy and support. terrorism .

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