Dawood Ibrahim, the man who maimed Mumbai on March 12, 1993, has emerged as the face behind homegrown terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM). Dawood and his intricate network of bogus hawala firms, spread across the country, have been covertly financing IM’s network in India, said sources in the central agencies and counter-terrorism units investigating blast cases across the country.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has been informed of Dawood’s alleged extensive hawala network in the Middle East and South Asian countries. A detailed probe by the Anti-Money Laundering / Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLU) is underway in the Middle East, sources said.
The involvement of Dawood’s gang, the D-Company, in financing terror through his network of hawala firms was unearthed during investigations into the July 13, 2011 blasts in Mumbai, (where the IM was allegedly involved) said sources in central agencies and counter-terrorism units. Many key players in the attacks are suspected to have links with Dawood.
A sum of Rs 10 lakh had been sent by alleged hawala operator Muzzafar Kola to IM kingpin Yasin Bhatkal through Delhi-based Kanwar Nain Pathrija, police sources said. The investigating agencies then suspected the involvement of the D-Company and intercepted telephone conversations from across the border showed directions being given to certain people, along with details of the money flow and transfers through hawala transactions. Kola, sources said, was a Mustafa Dossa man who later became a Dawood associate.
These reports led agencies to believe that Bhatkal, a Fazal-ur-Rehman gang member who now heads the IM, was working closely with Dawood and his company.
Fazal-ur-Rehman, too, was a close aide of Dawood and was arrested in 2006. Bhatkal, police sources believe, took up the reins of Fazal’s network after that.
“Kola is one of the wanted accused in the 13/7 blasts case for his alleged involvement in the hawala transfer and is also involved in money laundering,” said a senior police officer.
Dawood’s intricate network of hawala transactions and its use for financing terror dates back to 2001, when shoe baron Partho Roy Burman was kidnapped in Kolkatta, and a ransom of Rs 3.75 crore was transferred to Dubai through D-Company’s hawala channel. Investigators said that Kola was responsible even for the money transfer in Burman’s kidnapping case.