NEW DELHI: A team has been formed, on the directions of the department of revenue under the finance ministry, to conduct a ‘national risk assessment’ on the threat posed to the financial sector by money-laundering and terror financing. The first meeting of the high-level team, looking into the terror financing angle, was held here Thursday to determine the magnitude of the threat based on the data collected by enforcement and intelligence agencies.
According to sources, a letter was sent to the police chiefs of all the states as well as union territories along with three templates — terrorism threat, terrorism financing threat and terrorism financing vulnerabilities — on August 19. However, the sources maintained that no response has been received from any of the states.
The states have been asked to provide data on organisations and individuals — suspected of posing a terror threat. The newly-formed team requires information on terrorism cases, including the number of reported or investigated cases, number of convictions, number of international assistance requests received and qualitative information on future trends. “Besides, the level of sophistication of operation, annual budget of operation, income sources of organisations and individuals, main sectors abused and originating jurisdiction of funds will also be collected for the assessment,” the sources briefed on the matter told Express.
A senior official said the aim of garnering terrorism financing threat data is to identify the direction of funds and channels that are being used for terror financing. He said while enforcement data will be used to analyse threats, information collected by the financial intelligence unit (FIU) will be used to trace suspicious transactions. “This will provide accurate intelligence on source and destination of suspicious funds and we will be able to track funds movement, both incoming and outgoing,” he added.
Earlier in May, Express had reported that intelligence and law enforcement agencies were probing 17,529 suspicious transactions that appeared to have no economic rationale or bonafide purpose. 452 transaction reports were also forwarded to the financial sector regulators to look into the nature of the suspected offence.
All the data collected and analysed through national risk assessment will ultimately ensure the design of a policy framework and its implementation strategy including resource prioritization. “All this information is to be classified according to strengths and positive aspects, weaknesses gaps and challenges,” a source said.
sc seeks report on stash probe
The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money to submit its fourth report on the progress of the probe by Oct 7 and asked the Centre about the steps taken to implement the SIT’s recommendations to bring back money stashed in foreign banks illegally. “The Attorney General will tell us what the Centre has done on the recommendations of the SIT,” a bench, comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices M B Lokur and A K Sikri, said while posting the hearing to Oct 28.