NEW DELHI: The irrefutable trail of Rs 10.43-lakh cash deposits by Pakistan-based Jaish masterminds into Pulwama case accused Mohammad Umar Farooq’s two bank accounts in Peshawar and Khyber Agency, to finance the February 14 fidayeen attack, is likely to make India’s case stronger for getting Pakistan “blacklisted” by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Pakistan’s delivery on FATF’s 27-point action plan to curb terror financing and money laundering will come up for review by the multilateral body on September 14, followed by the final decision at FATF plenary in October.
Sources said India may raise the funding trail of Pulwama attack to banks in Pakistan, to highlight Islamabad’s “limited” understanding of the terror financing risk emanating from its jurisdiction.
“The fact that a Jaish terrorist was receiving funds in his bank accounts back in Pakistan, with which he bought the car and explosives used for the deadly strike in India that killed 40 CRPF personnel, shows that Pakistan has failed to deliver on its promises of due diligence in its banking system,” an officer pointed out.
Cheque book of Mohammad Umar Farooq’s Pakistan bank account
NIA probe into the Pulwama attack of February 14, 2019, has found that cash deposits totalling Rs 10.43 lakh were made in five instalments into Umar’s separate bank accounts in Meezan Bank, Peshawar and Allied Bank in Khyber Agecy. The trail of all the five deposit slips has been retrieved from Umar’s phone that was broken into with the help of CERT-In. These funds were deposited after Umar made a request to his uncles Abdul Rauf Asghar and Ammar Alvi. The voice clips where Umar asks them for money for Pulwama attack, after which the cash deposits were made, are submitted as evidence in the chargesheet filed by NIA on Tuesday.
Of the over 10 lakh Pakistan rupees deposited in Umar’s Pakistan bank accounts, Rs 5.7 lakh was used for purchase and modification of the car and procuring the explosives, including ammonium power from Amazon. Amazon had helped NIA track the accused who bought the ammonium powder from its site, by sifting through its buyer account database.
“The entire money transfer trail was established by NIA, which makes our case water-tight and nails the direct role of Pakistan-based Jaish top leadership.
Umar, soon after the Pulwama strike, was tasked with executing another big attack. However, the second attack plan was aborted after the Balakot strikes brought Jaish and its Pakistani state sponsors under international scrutiny. A message from ‘Mufti’ – seen as a reference to Jaish chief Masood Azhar – asking for the attack to be put on hold, was conveyed to Umar. The clip with reference to ‘Mufti’s’ message has been retrieved by NIA.
Umar’s high-end phone was cracked open by CERTIn, though the help of FBI was taken for further verification of leads. The expensive Samsung phone was a gift from accused Bilal Ahmad Kuchey, a well-off sawmill owner who had bought two such phones at the time, one of which he kept for himself.
Umar, nephew of main masterminds Masood Azhar and Rauf Asghar, hails from Bahawalpur and is married. He had trained in Afghanistan for two years before infiltrating into Jammu on April 14, 2018.