NIA to set up wing to probe terror funding, money laundering by Maoists
The new wing has been sanctioned by the home ministry to track large-scale money laundering and expenses by Maoists leaders.india Updated: Apr 22, 2018 18:45 IST
A dedicated wing is being set up in the NIA to investigate alleged large-scale money laundering and expenses of Maoist leaders and their sympathisers.
The home ministry recently gave its approval for setting up the wing in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following the agency’s extensive terror-funding probe against Kashmiri separatists. The central probe agency had arrested several leaders of the Hurriyat and their kin, including the son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Sayed Salahuddin and the son-in-law of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
“A dedicated wing of the NIA is coming up to take up the terror funding and money laundering cases of the Naxals. The home ministry has given the necessary approval for it,” a ministry official told PTI.
In February, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached properties worth Rs 86 lakh of a Jharkhand-based Maoist commander, Sandeep Yadav.
It also attached assets worth Rs 68 lakh of two senior Maoist leaders – Bihar-based brothers Pradumn Sharma and Pramod Sharma – in connection with a money-laundering probe against them.
Pradumn has several aliases such as Kundan Ji, Lulha, Saket, Anish Ji and is in charge of the Magadh zone special area committee of Bihar-Jharkhand of Naxalites.
Pramod, having aliases such as Prabhakar Ji and Pramod Singh, is the secretary of Banawar sub-area zonal committee of the CPI (Maoist).
The investigation found that proceeds of crime were utilised by Pradumn and Pramod to make huge expenses towards the admission of Pramod’s daughter in a medical college, and coaching of their son and daughter at institutes in Kota and Patna, an official said requesting anonymity.
There have been allegations against several contractors of collecting a levy and laundering it on behalf of Maoist leaders in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
As many as 90 districts in 10 states – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh – are hit by Left Wing Extremism.
The geographical spread of the Left Wing Extremism has shrunk significantly in the last four years due to a multi-pronged strategy involving security- and development-related measures.
The significant features of the anti-Maoist policy were zero tolerance towards violence coupled with a big push to development activities so that the benefits of new roads, bridges, telephone towers reach the poor and the vulnerable in affected areas, another official said.