Film piracy funding terror: US thinktank

26 03 2009

7 Mar 2009, 0425 hrs IST, S Balakrishnan,
Source: TNN

MUMBAI: The leading US thinktank, Rand Corporation, has confirmed what Indian intelligence agencies have been maintaining all along— Dawood
Ibrahim has graduated to terrorism and is siphoning off millions of dollars earned from film piracy, drug-running and other crimes to finance his operations.

According to sources in the film industry and police, the moment a film is released in Mumbai, the ‘D-Company’ makes camera prints and sends them to Karachi or Kuala Lumpur where millions of DVDs are made and marketed across the world. But after the Mumbai-based Valuable Group introduced satellite transmission of films directly to cinema halls, it has become difficult for the gang to make camera prints as each cinema hall has a secret identity number encrypted into the movie. To avoid this, gang members have established links with small-time theatres in Gujarat where the camera prints are taken at the first show of any new film.

The gang also receives advance prints of the films financed by it through front companies. “Contrary to general impression, the D-Company is still active in Bollywood,” a film producer says.

“Dawood is India’s godfather of godfathers who runs criminal gangs from Bangkok to Dubai. His gang syndicate, called D-Company, engages in strong-arm protection, drug trafficking, extortion and murder-for-hire,” the Rand report says.

It says that film piracy can be more paying than drug-trafficking. The report says a pirated DVD made in Malaysia for 70 cents is marked up more than 1,000% and sold in London for about $9. “The profit margin is more than three times higher than the mark-up for Iranian heroin and higher than the profit from Columbian cocaine,” the report says.

Identifying Al-Mansoor and Sadaf brands belonging to Dawood, the report says he has acquired extraordinary market power in the distribution of pirated films throughout the region. The report says the D-Company has got control of Sadaf Trading Company based in Karachi, and thus allowing it to manage distribution network in Pakistan and also acquiring the infrastructure to manufacture pirate VHS tapes and VCDs for sale.

How hawala money is used to fund terror Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru

7 03 2009

March 06, 2009 15:41 IST

The Financial Intelligence Unit last month marked 200 transactions in India — running into Rs 2,000 crore — as terror-financed. Now, it has commenced its probe to trace the origin of the funds.

It is a known fact that terrorist outfits use counterfeit notes to finance terror operations. This is just one of the means adopted by terror outfits and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence to raise Rs 1,800 crore a year to finance terror. However, in the case being probed by the FIU, there is a considerable amount of money deposited in the banks, meaning they are not counterfeit.

The money which is pumped into terror operations is generated through various sources: smuggling of opium, real estate, fake notes and extortion bids.

Interestingly, the main source of revenue remains the ISI. A study conducted on terror financing indicates that the Pakistan government allocates money officially to the Secret Service Funds. This amount is given for collection of intelligence, spy services and secret operations. However a large part of these funds are diverted for terror related operations by the ISI.

Fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim [Images], too, has a very important role to play in financing terror. Intelligence Bureau officials say that money that is deposited in banks is generated through hawala transactions and Dawood is one of the main sources of such transactions.

Dawood, according to an official, was in charge of routing in funds for terrorist activities carried out by Students Islamic Movement of India.

Dawood’s main source to pump in these funds was an aeronautical engineer who currently is holed up in Saudi Arabia. Dawood with the help of this man, called as Basheer, had set up a ‘Muslim Defence Fund’ for such transactions.

The big question is how these outfits managed to stash these funds in Indian banks. The confession of Ashfaq Ahmed, a Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images] operative, throws more light on the same.

He states that his bosses in Pakistan transact money through people settled in Riyadh. He says that most of the funds are transferred to India and are picked up by a hawala transactor. Investigating agencies say that the main places where funds land up are Chandini Chowk in Delhi [Images] and several parts of Mumbai [Images].

The hawala transactor in turn converts the money and then deposits it in the bank. Terror outfits largely rely on fruit vendors, businessmen dealing with electronic goods and those dealing with foreign exchange to conduct hawala transactions.

Once orders to carry out a terror strike is given, the person who has deposited the money is given orders to withdraw it.

Police sources say that records show that hawala transactors have a code name for cirriencies that the use regularly. The US dollar is known as hara, the UK pound as popleen, Dutch Gliders as God, Deutsche Marks as DM and the Franc as FF.

A bank official in Bengaluru [Images] says that the RBI has issued guidelines to tackle the menace of fake currency. However, it is very difficult to keep a tab on hawala money.

“We cannot ask the customer the source of the money and neither do we have the infrastructure or expertise to track the source of the money. It is more of a police job and it is they who have to keep a tab on the money that is being transacted through hawala operators,” he says.

Police trace IM links with Dawood, Lashkar

25 09 2008

Source:Hindustan Times

Delhi Police’s Special Cell claims that it has found the power-centre that controlled both the pro-jihad faction of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Indian Mujahideen (IM).

It’s ‘international terrorist’ mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) who had a hand in the spate of serial blasts, carried out by the IM, all over the country. The cell says it’s virtually a replay of the Bombay blasts of 1993.

Early this year, there were reports that the Dawood Ibrahim gang had merged with the Pakistan-backed LeT.

The Dawood trail seems to be faint for now, as the command chain that the homegrown terror outfit, the IM, followed was quite complex. The IM has carried out nine serial blasts – including the recent one in New Delhi – since March 2006.

The Special Cell has identified the persons who controlled the IM – its 24-year-old operations chief Atif Ameen (killed on September 19 in Delhi), Sadiq Sheikh (arrested by the Mumbai Police crime branch on Wednesday) and another man who is still absconding.

Confirming this, Special Cell’s Deputy Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar told Hindustan Times: “We have been looking for Sadiq for quite some time. He was part of the three-man decision-making body of the IM that had Atif and another man who is now absconding.”

However, Special Cell sources said the IM was only a junior partner in terror. It used to take orders from another three-member body that controlled the SIMI’s pro-jihad faction.

The three controllers were LeT’s chief of India operations Abu Al Qama, Dawood Ibrahim’s point man for currency smuggling Riaz Bhatkal and mastermind of the US consulate attack in January 2002 in Kolkata, Amir Reza Khan.

Kumar confirmed, “The IM, as evidence available with us indicated, was taking orders from the three men based abroad.” The chain of command was like this – the IM leaders reported to Riaz Bhatkal, who was accountable to Amir Reza Khan, and finally, Khan reported to Qama.

Khan is said to have become a senior Lashkar operative now and is based in Pakistan, while Bhatkal flits in and out of Pakistan and Dubai.

Special Cell’s Joint commissioner of police Karnal Singh said, “the LeT facilitated the co-ordination and coming together of the IM and the radical faction of the SIMI, led by Abdus Subhan Qureshi, after the arrest of Safdar Nagori in March.”

According to Special Cell investigators, Atif was in constant touch over the phone with Qureshi and his aide Qayamuddin Kapadia.