In a major breakthrough, counter-terrorism agencies have narrowed down on the terror-financing module that is operating out of New Delhi, and is believed to have aided Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives in executing the July 13 triple blasts in Mumbai and the Delhi blast.
Sources in counter-terrorism agencies said that they had identified the recipient of the money illegally channeled from Dubai to a 'hawala' operator in Delhi. The money was laundered through an old Lashkar-e-Taiba conduit identified as Wali Aziz alias Rehan, who operates out of Dubai.
The tip-off about the 'hawala' trader was obtained after the arrest of six IM operatives and with the arrest of Naquee Ahmed, who reportedly helped the plotters of the 13/7 blasts find a safe-house in Byculla. Waqqas and Tabrez, both residents of Darbhanga in Bihar, had given a sum of Rs1 lakh to Rubina Qureshi as deposit for the rented flat. The money, investigators say, came from the illegally laundered money, which was handed to Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh in Delhi.
Waqqas and Tabrez are suspected to have planted bombs at Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar, while Yasin and another yet-to-be-identified IM operative planted the bomb at Dadar, said sources in the police.
Sources said the money laundered was in excess of Rs5 lakh, which allowed Yasin to finance his stay in Delhi, and travel to various locations in Bihar, Chennai and Mumbai.
Even when the Indian Mujahideen module comprising 21 operatives was busted in 2008, the Mumbai crime branch had frozen two accounts in nationalised banks belonging to non-resident Indians who used to park money for Riyaz Bhatkal to withdraw, and had seized Rs 27 lakh from those accounts.