Cracking the whip on the terror module, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been dismantling the residual terror infrastructure of the notorious terror outfit Popular Front of India (PFI). Carrying forward with the stern action of banning the dreaded Islamist organization, the NIA recently unearthed a ‘hawala’ network that was allegedly used to route illegal funds from foreign sources by the banned outfit PFI.
The recent action
Post the ban on PFI, the NIA had been keeping a close eye on the movement of funds routed by this banned outfit. The agency claimed that while tracking the transfer of money by the Islamist group in connection with the Phulwarisharif (Patna) case, mainly in Kerala, Karnataka, and Bihar, the agents discovered a sizable hawala” network in South India. The central agency stated that the cadre of the organization in Bihar had been carrying out its operations clandestinely, and as a result, five suspects had been detained.
These five arrested suspects were involved in a multi-state “hawala” network that was being used to transfer money by the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI). The identities of the accused have been found out to be Mohammed Sinan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Iqbal, and M. Abdul Rafeek, residents of Karnataka, and K.M. Abid from Kasaragod, Kerala.
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An official said, “A PFI funding-by-hawala module operating out of Bihar and Karnataka with roots in the United Arab Emirates has been busted with the arrests of the five accused.” Reports also claim that recently, the banned outfit arranged a firearm and ammunition to eliminate a young man from a particular community in East Champaran.
The statement issued by the NIA said, “Earlier in this case, seven accused have already been arrested. They had gathered in the Phulwarisharif area of Patna in July last year for training and to carry out acts of terror and violence”.
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The investigation team discovered that even though PFI was prohibited, its leaders and cadre didn’t seize their illegal activities even for a moment after July 2022.
The agency discovered that Mohammed Sinan, Sarfraz Nawaz, M. Abdul Rafeek, and K.M. Abid received the money that Iqbal and his accomplices had acquired from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Several bank accounts received the funds. This close vigilance by the central agency in such matters has been the major reason for enhanced internal security in the nation.
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