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Author: Ankur Sharma

One suspicious financial transaction every 12 minutes; 2.23 lakh ‘black deals’ in 5 years: reveals FIU report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On October 27, two weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s crackdown on black money by demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the Finance Intelligence Unit (FIU) wrote to the finance ministry on the urgent need to tighten the noose around those involved in suspicious financial dealings.A worried FIU, which collects and analyses data to uncover patterns of transactions suggesting suspicion of money laundering and related crimes, put the spotlight on the problem following a report that revealed one suspicious financial transaction every 12 minutes in the five years during 2010-15, sources said.According to the report, accessed by DNA, there was a quantum jump in the number of suspicious transaction reports (STRs)— from 17,000 in the 2006-10 period to 2,23,000 in 2010-15.Raising serious questions on the nature of business activities in Maharashtra and Delhi, the report also says that the two states generate the maximum number of transactions conducted in an illicit manner. The two states are followed by Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat.The findings—which come to light just after the prime minister’s sudden and dramatic late evening announcement on Tuesday and should give a fillip to the campaign against black money hoarders—make a strong case to note trends for two biggest challenges of terrorism and black money facing the country, sources said. Terror financing is a major agenda of G20 countries.”Some notable trends during 2009-10 to 2014-15 are as follows. The banking sector contributed 68% of STR in conformity with their share in the financial assets (70%). The top 5 states having largest share in reporting of suspicious transactions are Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat,” the report states.The report goes on to add that public sector banks have the largest percentage ratio in terms of cash withdrawal to total debits and cash deposited to total credits. This indicates that public sector banks are generating STRs mainly on the basis of the cash component of the transaction. The insurance sector accounted for 6 per cent of STRs with Maharashtra topping the list. Mutual funds account for 2.57 per cent of STRs.What are STRsFIU records a transaction as suspicious if and where identity of the client is either fraud or forged or is conducted by someone who is on the Interpol watch list or has criminal records. It also covers unexplained transfers made in multiple accounts with no rationale or in dormant accounts, where nature of transaction is doubtful or where the value of transactions is made just below the reporting norm or threshold.

Trigger’s out: 2.23 lakh ‘black deals’ in 5 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On October 27, two weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s crackdown on black money by demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the Finance Intelligence Unit (FIU) wrote to the finance ministry on the urgent need to tighten the noose around those involved in suspicious financial dealings.A worried FIU, which collects and analyses data to uncover patterns of transactions suggesting suspicion of money laundering and related crimes, put the spotlight on the problem following a report that revealed one suspicious financial transaction every 12 minutes in the five years during 2010-15, sources said.According to the report, accessed by DNA, there was a quantum jump in the number of suspicious transaction reports (STRs)—from 17,000 in the 2006-10 period to 2,23,000 in 2010-15.Raising serious questions on the nature of business activities in Maharashtra and Delhi, the report also says that the two states generate the maximum number of transactions conducted in an illicit manner. The two states are followed by Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat.The findings—which come to light just after the prime minister’s sudden and dramatic late evening announcement on Tuesday and should give a fillip to the campaign against black money hoarders—make a strong case to note trends for two biggest challenges of terrorism and black money facing the country, sources said. Terror financing is a major agenda of G20 countries.”Some notable trends during 2009-10 to 2014-15 are as follows. The banking sector contributed 68% of STR in conformity with their share in the financial assets (70%). The top 5 states having largest share in reporting of suspicious transactions are Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat,” the report states.The report goes on to add that public sector banks have the largest percentage ratio in terms of cash withdrawal to total debits and cash deposited to total credits. This indicates that public sector banks are generating STRs mainly on the basis of the cash component of the transaction. The insurance sector accounted for 6 per cent of STRs with Maharashtra topping the list. Mutual funds account for 2.57 per cent of STRs.What are STRsFIU records a transaction as suspicious if and where identity of the client is either fraud or forged or is conducted by someone who is on the Interpol watch list or has criminal records. It also covers unexplained transfers made in multiple accounts with no rationale or in dormant accounts, where nature of transaction is doubtful or where the value of transactions is made just below the reporting norm or threshold.

Top Pak Army officer handpicked Mehmood Akhtar for India spy mission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehmood Akhtar, a Havildar in the Pakistani Army, was handpicked for the espionage mission by a top army officer who was once in the race to be the Pakistan Army Chief. Intelligence officials told DNA that Akhtar was part of the 40 Baloch Regiment after joining the Pakistan Army in 1997 before being sent to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on deputation on the recommendation of a Lieutenant-General, who also happened to be the Colonel Commandant of the regiment.Sources said Akhtar was deputed to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi in January 2014 after undergoing a three-month special training in espionage.Soon after recommending him for the ‘special assignment’, the Lieutenant-General retired six months later. This officer was in the race to be Pakistan Army chief but lost out narrowly, as he retired months before then chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s scheduled retirement in 2013.”Mehmood Akhtar was just a Havildar, one of the lowest ranks in the army but he had the backing of the Pakistan Baloch Regiment Colonel Commandant,” said an intelligence official.Akhtar was not alone. A senior who he reported to was also sent for the assignment along with him on the recommendation of the same officer, sources said. The Delhi Police also confirmed that Akhtar got his deputation to ISI in January 2013.”His interrogation disclosed that he was posted in Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi, for about two-and-a-half years and was working in the visa section,” said Joint Commissioner (Crime Branch) Ravinder Yadav.”He also disclosed that he is on deputation to ISI since January 2013 and is a serving Havildar of the 40 Baloch Regiment of Pakistan Army,” he added. Akhtar’s name was disclosed while officials were tracking other spies. “He was on special assignment and came under the crosshairs of intelligence sleuths recently, though other local spies were under the scanner since January,” sources said.

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