Caught from Mumbai, ISI agents laundered money for terror financing: Maharashtra ATS

In a joint operation, anti-terror squad from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh arrested two persons for their involvement in terror financing.

The Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh ATS in joint operation arrested two suspected ISI agents working on terror financing and supply functioning in the country. On Wednesday, the UP ATS arrested the first suspect Aftab Ali and seized incriminating documents, maps and literature from him. Following Ali's arrest, UP ATS got details about a person in Mumbai who had recently transferred money to his account.

The UP ATS team contacted Maharashtra ATS and reached Mumbai after which by late evening some suspects were rounded up at Pydhonie police station in Mumbai. Around midnight, Maharashtra ATS arrested the second person name Altaf Qureshi alias Dorajiwala (33) from Yusuf Manzil building in Agripada.

Officers from Maharashtra ATS said that, Qureshi during interrogation revealed about his employer and kingpin on whose orders he had sent the money to Ali's account. The person who ran the money laundering (hawala) racket was identified as one Javed Navivala (31) who was Qureshi's employer. Navivala was commerce graduate from Sydenham College in Mumbai and had been running the money laundering racket since 2009.

ATS officers said that Navivala had been on radar of intelligence agencies but no action could be taken against him due to lack of evidence. By Thursday early morning ATS team picked up Navivala and started questioning him and he finally succumbed and revealed about his handler in Pakistan. Navivala revealed that he worked for his ISI handler who was based in Pakistan and time to time transferred money to agents based in the country. Few days ago, Navivala's handler contacted him and sent him a message.

The coded message said "Dava ke liye paisa bhej do".

The message was decoded by Navivala who then ordered his associate Qureshi to transfer Rs 15000 to Ali's bank account. Ali had been on radar of intelligence agencies since his number was intercepted during his communication with his Pakistan handlers. The transaction blew the lid over Navivala and Qureshi's involvement in the module. Navivala and Qureshi are natives of Doraji village in Rajkot district of Gujarat and have a large number of relatives staying Karachi. It is suspected that the ISI handler could be their relative based in Karachi.

ACCUSED APPLIED FOR PAKISTAN VISA

According to UP ATS, Ali had applied for a visa to visit Pakistan but was rejected thrice after which he came in touch Pakistani spy Meherban Ali who was working for ISI while being posted at the Pakistan high commission. Meherban Ali asked him to work for him as a spy and reportedly processed Ali's visa.

Ali travelled to Pakistan in 2014 for the first time through Wagah border and returned and underwent terror training for three months. In 2016, he again went to Pakistan and underwent another three month training.

Ali was passing crucial information regarding Army's movements, recruitments, deployment and armaments from Faizabad and Lucknow to Meherban Ali. For every information he passed, he was being paid by Qureshi through money transfer which was done on orders of Navivala and his ISI handler.

Qureshi and Navivala have been booked for cheating , forgery and conspiracy under sections 420,468 and 120 B of IPC while some serious charges under the Official Secrets Act sections 3,4,5 and 9 have been applied against for spying, communicating with foreign intelligence agents, attempted incitement. They have been remanded to custody till May 7 after which they will be taken to Lucknow on transit remand.

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