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'300% rise in suspicious terror financing cases'

300% rise in suspicious terror financing cases

New Delhi: Over 1,400 instances of terror financing in country's economic channels were red-flagged by intelligence and security agencies last year, a latest report of the Finance Ministry says, marking a 300 percent jump in such suspicious transactions.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which functions under the ministry, has reported that it had received 1,444 reports during 2011-12 from agencies like the Intelligence Bureau, the Research and Analysis Wing and those in the economic domain and affiliated to the Income Tax and Customs departments.

The figure of such reports from these agencies stood at 428 during 2010-11, the agency says.

"The FIU also supports the efforts of domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies against terror financing by providing information specifically requested by them, either by searching its database or by calling specific information from the reporting entities," the report says.

The FIU is the national agency responsible for receiving, analysing and disseminating suspicious transaction reports (STRs) to security and anti-money laundering and tax evasion departments of the country.

The agency also reported a more than 100 percent rise in the number of STRs received during 2011-12 as it collected a total of 69,224 such reports during this period as compared to 20,698 STRs during 2010-11.

The instances of reportage of fake currency in Indian banking channels are also on the rise, the FIU says.

Indian banks - both private and public - sent across more than three lakh instances of detection of fake currency notes in their channels during the same period, a 30 percent increase from the last time.

While a total of 3, 27, 382 counterfeit currency reports were reported to FIU in 2011-12, these reports stood at 2, 51, 448 during 2010-11.

A fake currency report includes details of an instance of counterfeit currency detected by a bank. Since 2008, the FIU has received such reports of fake currency with a face value of over Rs 60 crore.

"The FIU, however, does its due diligence while processing these requests by intelligence agencies as a number of these suspicious transactions may not turn out to be actually a potent threat to national security but may have been done in circumstances of unjustified complexity ringing alarm bells," a senior Finance Ministry official said.
He added that the increase in number of terrorist financing-related requests is also due to security agencies working to crack on the funding route of a number of home-grown and foreign terror modules.

The FIU has enhanced its compliance mechanisms in this category as well.


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