Nation Current Affairs 20 Nov 2022 India will target il ...

India will target illegal cash routes, hawala of terrorists, says Shah

Published Nov 20, 2022, 2:02 am IST
Updated Nov 20, 2022, 8:44 am IST
Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks during the third 'No Money for Terror' Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing, in New Delhi, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (PTI)
 Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks during the third 'No Money for Terror' Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing, in New Delhi, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (PTI)

NEW DELHI: Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday called for a multi-pronged strategy, including a strict crackdown on "terror haven" countries, enhanced cooperation among stakeholders, a tightened regulatory framework and proposed setting up of a permanent "No Money For Terror (NMFT)" secretariat in India.

Backing its call for the permanence of the NMFT initiative and in order to take this thought forward, the Chair's (India) statement includes "the offers to establish a permanent secretariat in the country". India will shortly circulate a discussion paper to all participating jurisdictions for their opinion on the proposal.

Addressing the closing session of the 3rd NMFT conference here, Mr Shah highlighted six priority issues, including eliminating the use of illegal channels, cash couriers and hawala by terror networks.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, he said, "Some countries, their governments and their agencies have made 'terrorism' their state policy. In these terror havens, it is necessary to shackle their unrestrained activities along with a strict economic crackdown. All the countries of the world will have to make up their minds on this, rising above their geo-political interests."

At the same time, Mr Shah added, all countries will have to agree on one common definition of terrorism and terror financing, as it is an issue of the protection of the citizens and their human and democratic rights and should not become a political issue.

Drawing attention of the delegates towards six priority issues, he described them as preventing diversion from legal financial instruments by fighting anonymity in financial networks, restricting the use of proceeds of other crimes for terrorist activities, preventing use of new financial technologies, virtual assets like crypto-currencies, wallets etc, for terror activities, eliminating the use of illegal channels, cash couriers, hawala by terror networks, prevention of the use of non-profit organisation, NPOs sector to spread terror ideology and continuous capacity building of counter-terror and financial intelligence agencies of all countries.

"Cyberspace today has become a major battleground in the fight against terrorism. There have also been multiple changes in weapons technology too and these 21st-century lethal technologies and drone technologies are also accessible to terrorists now," he said.

"The growing links between terrorism and organised crimes such as narcotics, crypto-currencies and hawala have increased the possibility of terror financing manifold," he said.

The primary goal of this conference was to identify various channels of terror financing and devise a practical and workable roadmap against it.

According to an estimate by the IMF and the World Bank, criminals around the world launder around $2 -$4 trillions every year. And a major part of it goes to fuel terrorism. Considering the quantum and challenges, the agencies and authorities working in the areas of counter-terror and terror financing, have to adopt a long-term strategy, he said.

Underlining that the conference will also help in moulding this discussion into strategic thinking in the days to come, he also presented a roadmap for the NMFT.

Mr Shah also said that across all stages of terror financing, such as fund-raising, fund movement, layering through other crimes and finally, usage for terrorist activities have to be stopped at each stage and each stage requires a "specific but collective approach" on a global scale.

The home minister said that all countries must implement the standards, and recommendations set by the Financial Action Task Force not just on paper, but in spirit. He said that to combat the financing of terrorism, our approach must be based on five pillars.

In remarks aimed against the Popular Front of India, Mr Shah said that recently, the Government of India has banned an organisation that conspired to radicalise the youth and push them towards terrorism and that every country should identify and take stringent action against such organisations.

To stop the borderless finance movement that supports terrorism, we also have to accept the approach of "beyond-border cooperation" among us, only then will this platform be successful, he added.


Location: India, Delhi


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