‘No money for terror’ meet today; Hawala and new terror financing methods to be discussed


Terrorist financing and heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan remain the major cause of narco-terrorism, but the two countries will not attend a 2-day ‘no money for terror’ (NMFT) conference that begins in New Delhi on Friday. China was invited but has not confirmed participation, external affairs ministry secretary Sanjay Verma and DG NIA Dinkar Gupta said during a news conference in New Delhi on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference to be attended by 72 countries and other multilateral organisations.

The National Investigation Agency has been probing several terror cases involving groups in Pakistan. Smuggling of Afghan heroin and use of drugs money has also been established in several cases. Large quantities of Afghan heroin have been seized off Gujarat and Kerala coasts, particularly after the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, Gupta said.

When asked if removing Pakistan from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list would impact India’s counter terror efforts, Gupta said, “India has seen several cases of narco-terrorism. Apart from NIA, state police of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab are also investigating narco-terrorism cases where proceeds of drugs are funneled to carry out terrorist attacks. A very wide range of topics will be discussed. Almost all countries will get the opportunity to speak.”

“Social media platforms are used as crowdfunding platforms, finances raised through such sources are ultimately used for terror purposes. This is an issue that needs to be discussed,” he said. The conference will discuss trends in terrorist financing, formal and informal ways of terror financing and emerging technology and terrorist financing. The fourth and last session will focus on the need to strengthen international cooperation. This is the third edition of the NMFT conference. The first was held in Paris in 2018 and the second in Melbourne in 2019.
“Traditional methods of hawala money and new ways of terror financing would be discussed at the conference,” Gupta said. It will be attended by about 450 delegates from across the world, including 20 ministers, heads of multilateral organisations and FATF heads of delegations. The concern on dark web which brings together professional hackers and terrorists seeking to crowdsource or transfer funds will also be taken up. India will emphasise on the cooperation among states carried out at the international, national and regional levels which need coordinated responses from intergovernmental and national law enforcement agencies, said officials adding that a declaration or resolution will be issued by member countries on Saturday.


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