Pak announces crackdown on terror funding, Hafiz Saeed booked
As per the charges, these proscribed outfits were operating under the guise of charities and were involved in funnelling funds to terror suspects.Updated: Jul 04, 2019 16:10 IST
Pakistani authorities on Wednesday announced a crackdown on terror financing by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its front organisations, saying cases had been registered against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his aides.
Twenty-three cases were registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan in Punjab province against the leadership of LeT, Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) for using a network of trusts and non-profit organisations to collect funds for terrorism, a spokesman for the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) said.
The spokesman identified the LeT and JuD leaders booked in the cases as Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, his brother-in-law and close aide Abdul Rehman Makki, MaliK Zafar Iqbal, Ameer Hamza, Muhammad Yahya Aziz, Muhammad Naeem Sheikh, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Raqeeb, Ahmad Daud, Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah Ubaid, Muhammad Ali, and Abdul Ghaffar. The LeT and JuD leaders were accused of collecting “funds for terrorism financing through assets/properties made and held in the names of trusts/non-profit organisations”, the spokesman said.
Experts said this was probably the first time Saeed was directly named in a case registered against LeT and its front organisations for involvement in terror. The move came less than two weeks after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) assessed Pakistan’s actions to curb terror financing and concluded it had missed two sets of targets under an action plan finalised after the country was put on the watchdog’s “grey list” last year. FATF also called for the prosecution of those involved in terror financing.
LeT has been banned in Pakistan since 2002 and the charities since last year.
The CTD spokesman said the action was being taken in line with the implementation of UN sanctions against designated groups and individuals and also in keeping with a directive issued by the National Security Committee following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in January.
The cases, which were registered on July 1 and 2, named trusts and organisations such as Dawat ul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, Al-Anfaal Trust, Al Hamd Trust, and Al Madina Foundation Trust.
The spokesman said: “Large-scale investigations have been launched into matters of JuD , LeT & FIF regarding their holding and use of trusts to raise funds for terrorism financing. They made these assets from funds of terrorism financing, they held and used these assets to raise more funds for further terrorism financing. Hence, they committed multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. They will be prosecuted in Anti-Terrorism Courts for commission of these offences.”
The assets and organisations had already been taken over by the government in compliance with UN Sanctions, the spokesman added.
There was no official reaction from Indian officials but people familiar with developments said Pakistan had resorted to similar steps in the past to ease pressure from the world community.