NIA nabs five hawala operators in Bihar PFI case
The NIA teams conducted extensive searches in Kasargod and DK since March 4, leading to the arrest of the five suspects.
BENGALURU /MANGALURU: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has busted a multi-state hawala network of the banned terrorist organisation, Popular Front of India (PFI), and arrested five hawala operators in last year’s Phulwari Sharif, Bihar, PFI case. Of the five arrested, four are from Dakshina Kannada and one from Kasargod in Kerala.
Those arrested from DK are Mahammad Sinan and Iqbal from Panemangalore, Sarfraz Nawaz from Sajipamuda, and Abdul Rafeek M from Puttur taluk, and Abid KM from Kunjathur in Kasaragod. “While tracking the funds being moved by the PFI across the country, the NIA probe into the Phulwari Sharif case have led to the unearthing of a large network of hawala operators in South India and their arrest from Karnataka,” the NIA stated.
The NIA teams conducted extensive searches in Kasargod and DK since March 4, leading to the arrest of the five suspects. “Searches were conducted at eight locations during which digital devices and incriminating documents containing details of transactions running into several crores of rupees were seized,” it said.
According to the agency, the leads in the investigation established the fact that despite the ban on PFI on September 27 last, “the terrorist organisation and its leaders/cadre continued to propagate the ideology of violent extremism and were also arranging arms and ammunition to commit crimes.”
“Following the money trail, the NIA team reached Nawaz and Sinan, who had been making deposits in the bank accounts of the accused and suspects in the PFI case. Dogged pursuit of the money trail and connecting the dots, the NIA managed to unravel the international conspiracy and linkages to funds while investigating Iqbal and other associates, who had collected illegally generated funds from Dubai and Abu Dhabi and handed them over to Sinan, Nawaz, Rafeek and Abid in India. Investigations showed that Sarfaraz, Sinan and Rafeek deposited this money in different bank accounts of the accused and suspects,” the NIA stated.
“The PFI cadre in Phulwari Sharif and Motihari had vowed to continue the organisation’s activities in a clandestine manner in Bihar and had also arranged a firearm and ammunition to eliminate a youth from a particular community in Bihar’s East Champaran district. Three operatives of the module were arrested on February 5,” it said.