NIA finds ‘hawala’ route used to buy illegal weapons from Myanmar by Northeast insurgents

The sources said that the NIA teams found out about the mode of payment on Saturday following raids at six locations including a gun shop in Mizoram capital Aizawl.
Image used for representative purposes only
Image used for representative purposes onlyFile photo

NEW DELHI: The anti-terror federal probe agency NIA in its investigation into a case related to smuggling of weapons in the North-East region of the country, has found that ‘hawala’ channels are being used to pay to Myanmar-based suppliers of arms and ammunition, which are illegally brought to Manipur and Mizoram, sources here said on Sunday.  

The sources said that the NIA teams found out about the mode of payment on Saturday following raids at six locations including a gun shop in Mizoram capital Aizawl. Following the raids NIA sleuths arrested a person, who is identified as Solomon alias Hminga for his alleged involvement in the alleged arms smuggling.

NIA officials said that in the raids the sleuths managed to seize a huge quantity of explosives, ammunition, digital devices, documents and other incriminating materials. The anti-terror agency had earlier arrested a Mizoram resident, Laigaihawma, in connection with the case.

“Investigations have revealed that the accused had established a network in the bordering areas of Myanmar and Mizoram to procure and transfer arms and ammunition, and also smuggle explosives into Mizoram and Manipur from across the Myanmar border,” a senior NIA official said, adding that one of the Laigaihawma’s associates Lalmuanawma alias Mangliana, a Myanmar’s national, is still absconding.

“With the help of their Myanmar based associates, they were supplying arms, ammunition and explosives in Mizoram and Manipur. He was also involved in sending supplies of arms and ammunition to Myanmar-based armed groups,” the official said.

The officials said, that the probe into the case, which still continues, has revealed that ‘hawala’ channels are being used to make payments for the illegal supply of weapons and related ammunition.

It is to be noted here that the NIA had registered a case on December 26, 2023, under various sections of the IPC, the Explosive Substances Act, the Arms Act and the UAPA after it received input about a large-scale illegal arms, ammunition and explosives supply network operating in the north-eastern region.

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