Bhopal, Aug 22 (IANS) Five persons arrested from Satna in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday evening for alleged links with a terror funding racket managed by Pakistani operatives were brought to Bhopal on Thursday evening for interrogation by Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS).
Madhya Pradesh Police officials said three arrested persons, Balram Singh, Sunil Singh and Shubham Mishra, were in contact with Pakistani handlers and sharing the strategic information and bank account details with them. The police also detained two of their associates for the interrogation, but held back their names.
The accused made several calls to foreign countries and had a number of transactions using different bank accounts, Satna Superintendent of Police Riyaz Iqbal said.
The five accused have been found in possession of 13 Pakistani SIM cards. The accused were running their racket from Satna.
“The accused were making calls to foreign countries. They were also using various social networking sites and applications for communication. Besides, they made several transactions using different bank accounts,” he said.
The SP said that they also had links in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar, adding the ATS would further investigate the case.
Balram Singh and one of those detained were earlier arrested by the ATS in February 2017 in connection with an espionage racket and terror funding, Iqbal said. Balram Singh, who has been arrested twice earlier, was currently out on bail.
State Police Headquarters’ spokesman A.P. Singh said in Bhopal, “These three accused were working in an organised manner. They have been booked and arrested under IPC section 123 (waging war against the country).”
In February 2017, 15 people, including Balram Singh were arrested by the ATS for their alleged links to an espionage racket being run from Pakistan to collect strategic information. “They were sharing details of bank accounts and ATMs with the same Pakistani handlers on the phone numbers, which also were found in the previous investigation (of 2017),” the spokesman said.
Of the 12 others from different MP cities and 60 SIM cards, illegal telephone exchange equipment and mobile phones in large numbers were recovered from them. BJP Bhopal IT Cell district coordinator Dhruv Saxena was among those booked for facilitating crucial information about Indian Army deployments.
The five accused allegedly used social Messenger to communicate with other members of the racket spread across different parts of the country.
Singh said, “These persons were transferring the money received from duping the people on the directives of Pakistani agents. They were also receiving money through fake bank accounts.”
After the arrest of 15 people in 2017 on charges of espionage and terror funding, a senior officer had said that the money was frequently deposited through ‘hawala’ transactions in the accounts of Balram Singh and other accused with fictitious names by overseas handlers.