India along with major world economies is participating in the first-ever global meeting being held in Paris to discuss and evolve mechanisms to combat the clandestine and largely undetected terrorist financing network of the Islamic State terror group.
The dreaded terror group, in recent times, has been held responsible for perpetrating violence and killing at least 129 people in the French capital.
The meeting at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Secretariat office is being held between December 12-14 and is being attended by an inter-ministerial team led by senior Finance Ministry officials dealing in subjects of money laundering and combating the financing of terror.
The FATF Secretariat confirmed to PTI that Indian authorities will be part in the deliberations aimed to secure the economic and banking channels of the member countries from the influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“The Indian delegation will be led by the Ministry of Finance with participation from other relevant ministries and agencies,” the FATF said.
Senior officials in Delhi said authorities from the elite Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) will be leading the India delegation for the talks.
“There are some instances under the scanner of various investigative agencies that indicate there may be links to ISIS funds being routed from India, if not generated. The talks are expected to formalise a resolution to jointly combat the menace which is increasingly affecting jurisdictions across the globe,” they said.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 and is mandated to set global protocols and standards to combat money laundering and other financial crimes with direct ramifications to terrorist acts across the globe.
India is a full-member of this reputed global body along with 33 other nations like the US, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The three-day meeting has been called “to discuss actions jurisdictions are taking and need to take to combat the financing of the ISIL and broader opportunities to strengthen global efforts to combat the financing of terrorism,” the FATF said.
“These three days of meetings will bring together delegates representing the FATF global network, which today extends to some 200 jurisdictions, and operational experts involved in detecting, preventing and disrupting terrorism and terrorist financing.”
In the wake of the increased activities of terrorist groups around the globe, including ISIS, India had recently reported to the FATF that it has frozen assets worth Euro 3 lakh (over Rs 2.12 core) of over three dozen entities on charges of terrorist financing and money laundering of illicit funds.
However, India, in this report, did not mention that the action involved ISIS operatives.
An exhaustive report prepared by the world body early this year had underlined the “complicated” pattern of funding being deployed to mobilise ISIS terrorists and in secretly moving their deadly weapons and ammunition.
“ISIL financing is a constantly changing picture and a very difficult and complicated area to address given the operational situation on the ground…ISIL represents a new form of terrorist organisation where funding is central and critical to its activities,” the report had said.
The report did not mention about any instance of ISIS terror financing in India.
The report had said its preliminary investigations found that the group was generating terror funds by using illicit proceeds from occupation of territory, such as bank looting, extortion, control of oil fields and refineries, kidnapping for ransom, donations including by or through non-profit organisations, fund raising through modern communication networks.
“Still, further consideration will have to be given to determine how best the international community can prevent ISIL from using or benefiting from the financial and commercial sectors under its control,” the FATF said.
“The latest meeting is the obvious outcome for the latest round of talks being held here between member countries,” the officials in Delhi said.
The FATF found “revenue streams (of ISIS) are inconsistent and shift based on the availability of economic resources and the progress of coalition military efforts against ISIL.”
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