ATS questioning Kochi trader for funding IM

published on October 10, 2008

Trader suspected of funding terror

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is questioning a Kochi-based businessman who is suspected to be funding terror-related activities through hawala operations. Sources in the police say he is also wanted in a 2002 extortion case in Mumbai.

“We have been questioning him for the last three to four days and investigations are on,” said Param Bir Singh, additional commissioner of police, ATS.

Sources in the ATS said a team was sent to Kochi to question the businessman who owns a shopping mall and a couple of jewellery shops. “It is suspected that he is a front for hawala operations” which funds terror-related activities, a senior ATS official said.

The police are also trying to ascertain if he is linked to any terror outfit, particularly the Indian Mujahideen (IM).

“Another reason why we are questioning him is because most of his business is in the Middle East. We are trying to ascertain whether any of his activities involved transacting unaccounted money,” an ATS officer said.

The officer said the businessman would be let off if nothing was found against him.

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