UAPA in narco-terror funding cases to freeze bank accounts, attach property

MHA, UT Govt list series of measures for agencies

Financial investigations, help of national agencies to be taken

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Nov 1: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has listed a series of measures to check terror funding through narco trade in Jammu and Kashmir including coordination with different agencies at national and UT-levels, strict surveillance on darknet and crypto currency. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) meant for subversive activities is also being clamped on the narco-terror modules to facilitate freezing of their assets and attachment of properties.
Official sources told the Excelsior that both the Central and UT Governments are going tough on narco-terror funding following reports that proceeds of narcotics, in some of the cases, are being used for terror funding and now, in all such cases, the UAPA is being invoked along with NDPS Act which will help the investigating agencies involve stringent measures like freezing of accounts, property attachment especially the disproportionate assets raised through narco trade.
“The idea is to break the backbone of militancy which is already crumbling. However, Pakistan is trying to sustain the militancy through narco-terror module by using proceeds of the trade to fund militancy. Use of UAPA will help the investigating agencies to block the terror-funding channels,” sources said.
They added that chapter of financial investigations has been added to the probe in narco-terror funding case. The Union Home Ministry as well as the UT Government have asked the investigating agencies to follow money trail in narco recoveries case which would help in ascertaining exact source of funding and might lead most of the cases to terror funding.
“After plugging hawala channels, the militant outfits and their mentors sitting in Pakistan are trying to fund the militancy through narco trade. Accordingly, the investigating agencies including police, Intelligence and other stakeholders have also shifted their strategy and are taking all possible measures to ensure that this strategy of the militants too don’t succeed,” the sources said.
The Government has also asked the investigating agencies to take all possible measures to check misuse of darknet and crypto currency in terror funding.
Asserting that certain measures have definitely been taken to plug misuse of darknet and crypto currency, sources, however, maintained that they can’t be disclosed as revealing them would help the militants, narco smugglers and others indulging in terror funding.
“Definitely, a mechanism is in place but it can’t be disclosed as it would help the terror sponsors,” they said but admitted that some anti-national elements using darknet have been intercepted using different secret means, trapped and even arrested.
The Central and UT Governments have also called for focus on cultivation of narcotics in some parts of the Kashmir valley. Though police have managed to successfully check cultivation, yet there could be some areas where the people might be doing this activity under cover to generate funds for the militancy.
“National and UT level database are being maintained to keep data of arrests and seizures,” they said.
Asserting that freezing of accounts and attachment of property, disproportionate to known sources of income of the narco terror sponsors will go a long way in checking finances of the militancy, sources said this will give another blow to the militancy which is sharply on decline because of series of successful operations being carried out by Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army and paramilitary forces.
A number of militants including top commanders of various outfits have been killed in the recent past in the Kashmir valley while several others have been captured and many others have surrendered.
“While operations against the militants are an ongoing process, need is to curb the funding to them to deliver them final assault,” sources said, adding this can be done by plugging terror funding generated through narcotics.