Maharashtra’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS), which is currently investigating the 13/7 blasts case, is on the lookout for the person who received the hawala money used to fund the blasts. ATS suspects this money was routed through Dubai to a hawala operator in Delhi. A hawala transfer is a transfer of money through an illegal channel.
Sources in the ATS revealed that Rs10 lakh was used for the blast, and Haroon Rashid Naik, who was arrested on August 22, 2011 in a fake currency case, played a key role in facilitating the hawala transfer.
“However, we suspect there is another person, who received the money and then gave it to Yasin Bhatkal alias Siddibappa alias Imran, the main suspect,” said an ATS official who did not wish to be named.
A key to solving this part would be getting the custody of Haroon who is currently in jail. “We were aware of the hawala angle along with the role of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) way back in August 2011, a month after the blasts. But since it was the starting point we did not disclose this and worked on getting the real culprits,” the official said.
ATS officials said then that Rs 1.5 lakh out of the Rs10 lakh was given to Naquee Ahmed (already arrested in the 13/7 blasts case).
Another Rs10,000 was given to Nadeem Sheikh, the second person arrested in the case, they said. However, it is not clear where this amount was used by him (Nadeem), they said.
So far, the ATS has arrested Naquee and Nadeem and are awaiting the custodial transfer of Haroon. The ATS has invoked the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case.