Friday, March 4, 2011

Secret report on fake notes blames Pak


Secret report on fake notes blames Pak

New Delhi: A secret Government report, that claims to be based on a “million intelligence inputs,” has named officials in the Pakistan High Commissions in Dhaka and Kathmandu as being responsible for not only manufacturing but also distributing Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN).

For the first time, the Government has put a figure to the value of FICN in "circulation" -- Rs. 16,000 crore, and linked it to at least 15 cases of terrorist funding.

The 65-page report, obtained by The Indian Express, categorically blames Pakistan for running what it calls a "sophisticated buisness enterprise covering many countries."

It lists 28 important "FICN network operator gangs" out of Bangkok, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan which are "so well established that they could also be used for arranging hide-outs, for easy and secure communication channels to subversives and safe launch-pads for espionage agents."

The report says that 36.8% of large FICN seizures (above Rs. 10 lakh) over a five-year period have been "directly" sourced from Pakistan and the remaining "indirectly" -- with consignments first sent to a "staging-post" country and seized while on their second or third-leg journeys into India.

The report contains a list of 11 officials purportedly of the Pakistan Government either associated with the ISI or the High Commission.

"Regular intelligence feeds are available with numerous references to the FICN trade in Bangladesh and Nepal where menion of the Pakistan High Commission and its officials (by name), facilitating the trade, are common...there are impeccable inputs to suggest that in Dhaka, FICN is supplied by the 'Embassy' and transported by the 'Embassy vehicle."

Some of the "officials" mentioned in the report:

* Brigadier Shaukat Mahmood Sufi is described as a "senior Pak ISI officer coordinating the entire programme." Since 2007, he made 12 visits to Bangkok, 10 to Dhaka and 14 to Colombo.

His role in the FICN racket was exposed when the Thai police arrested members of his network in Bangkok in June 2007. On July 11, 2007, Sufi handed over two bags containing FICN to his Nepalese contacts before departing for Pakistan.

A week later, on July 18, Sufi returned to Bangkok and met Yunus Ansari and another Nepalese national, Parmeshwar Mahato. Sufi introduced then to other ISI officials in the Pakistan mission in Bangkok before he left for Pakistan on July 21, 2007. On October 10, 2007, Thai officials detained Nepalese nationals Parmeshwar Mahato and Chokat Mahto Khulwat and recovered FICN worth Rs. 1.2 crore from them.

* Rattan, an official posted at the Pak High Commission (PHC) in Dhaka, is tasked with distributing FICN to local operatives in Bangladesh and onward supply into India. The report states: "Upto October 2010, Pak officials were given rewards for infusing FICN into distribution channels on commission basis but now the new system provides for fixed monthly allowances." Mir is another associate of Rattan and posted in the High Commission in Dhaka.

* Aftab Afzal, a visa counselor at PHC in Dhaka, is described as "an important conduit for FICN supply at PHC Dhaka" in close touch with FICN operative Imran Mollah of Paltan (possibly Paltan Bazar). Also mentioned are Geelanai Sahab, working at the PHC in Dhaka, and ISI officials Ghulam Ali Mirani and Gulam Shabbir.

"On account of increasing difficulties in pushing FICN through Bangladesh and Nepal into India, network operators are (now) exploring the Pakistan-Guangzhou-India route using commercial containers. They assess that increasing trade between India and China has led to a large number of containers arriving by the sea route in India," says the report.

The report underlines terrorist links with FICN distribution and lists 15 cases of arrests, seizures and interrogation where FICN was linked to terrorist financing. For example, the report reveals how David Headley -- the Lashkar mastermind behind 26/11 now in US custody -- confessed to having been given Rs. 2.5 lakh in FICN in Pakistan by his handler for a trip to India to plot the Mumbai attack.

Source: The Indian Express

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