It is just over a month since the Amritsar attack, when the city witnessed a deadly grenade attack, in which 3 people were killed and 10 were injured. It’s as if the dart has hit the city again, our agencies have now unearthed a network of havala transactions that had been continuing in the city, unhindered, since years. It is estimated that mere this network generates havala money in thousands of crores, for Pakistani spy agency ISI, every year.
The story starts with an arms consignment that made it to India from Pakistan; whilst on its trail, our agencies sniffed out a flourishing havala business, benefactor of which was an Amritsar based, herbs and nuts businessman, name withheld by authorities. This was a businessman with a not so decorous past; he had been arrested by Delhi police special cell, in the year 2006, for carrying heroine worth Rs 50 crore. He was then sent behind the bars for a decade. When he was finally released in 2016, like moths to flame, he returned to his old “business” in no time, but he was successful in evading the prying eyes of our agencies, till Karnataka Police froze his account in IndusInd bank after detecting suspicious bank transactions.
But intelligence agencies had to grind their nail to stone to reach this businessman. The arrest of BSF soldier AN Mishra in the month of September, after a joint operation by Military intel unit (Chandigarh) and UP ATS, was the harbinger of good news. Through him, our agencies were also able to arrest a scientist from DRDO. Investigation of his phone data and of a few other PIOs (Pak intel operators) led to a certain ISI officer, who helps run havala business through the porous borders of Punjab. He, along with his other associates, have also been approaching Indian service personnel, under the pretext of being female journalists, and in some cases have successfully honey-trapped them.
Often during the course of investigation, while rummaging through the contact lists of PIOs (Pak intel operators), our agencies have stumbled upon the names of this same ISI officer and of a middleman, who is also a Pakistani citizen. ISI’s strategy is to funnel money across the border to fund the terrorist’s activities of the terror organizations backed by it in mainland India. These men were tasked to send money to India, and deposit them in the accounts of handlers like the Amritsar based businessman. Money so sent is disbursed immediately to 100’s of accounts of poor people in far-fetched places within Punjab and mainland, to states like Jharkhand.
Sleepy hamlets in Jharkhand, has very recently earned themselves the sobriquet of cybercrime capital of India; in the month of September, ED(Enforcement directorate) had conducted many raids in Jamtara to unearth first of its kind cyber money laundering case in India. The incident is a proof of how deep ISI’s tentacles have spread in mainland India.
Just to give a perception of how sinister these innocuous looking transactions can be, let us compare it with Mumbai Terror attacks that rocked the Indian financial capital on November 26th, 2008. Back then, Rs 1.15 crore was spent by LeT(Lashkar-E-Tayiba),an ISI backed terror organization, for executing tasks; Rs 17 lakhs for weapons and about Rs 30 lakhs for surveillance conducted by David Headley, a similar reconnoitre was conducted by AN Mishra, of the BSF headquarters, Tekanpur. Now imagine the scale of destruction that can be caused by a behemoth amount worth 1000’s of crores.
With so much money being pumped into the state of Punjab, it comes as no surprise that Khalistan movement has been resurrected to our defence force’s nightmare. It was a well-coordinated operation by the tri services—Military intelligence unit, UP ATS, and Karnataka police which helped nab ISI’s pawns within India. Its a new dawn for military intelligence, India, hitherto sleeping giant. Military intelligence units are like the first line of defence of a country which insulates the defence forces and soldiers, so that enemy can not reach our soldiers. Our forces in recent past have repeatedly proven that they can now function as a well-oiled machine, with the political will and support of higher echelons, their performance can be enhanced further.