Criminal groups are joining hands with terrorists and are providing services such as counterfeiting, illicit financing, arms dealing, drug trafficking and smuggling terrorists across borders, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said.
Fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim is allegedly seeking safe haven in Pakistan.
In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India has told the UN Security Council that Dawood Ibrahim’s illegal activities from a “haven” that refuses to acknowledge even his existence pose a real danger, as New Delhi called for focussed attention to address the threats by the D-Company, the JEM and the LeT.
Terrorist organisations are increasingly involved in lucrative criminal activities such as trading in natural resources and human trafficking to raise funds, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said on Tuesday.
Similarly, criminal groups are joining hands with terrorists and are providing services such as counterfeiting, illicit financing, arms dealing, drug trafficking and smuggling terrorists across borders, he said at the Security Council debate on ‘Threats to International Peace and Security: Linkages between International Terrorism and Organised Crime’.
“In our region, we’ve seen the mutation of Dawood Ibrahim’s criminal syndicate into a terrorist network called the D-Company.
“The company’s illegitimate economic activities could also be very little celebrated outside our region, but for us, such activities as gold importing, counterfeit currency, as well as arms and drug trafficking from a safe haven that declines to acknowledge even his existence, are a real and present danger,” Akbaruddin said.
He emphasised that the success of a collective action to “denude” the ISIS is a pointer that the Council’s “focussed attention can and does yield results”.
“A similar degree of interest in addressing the threats posed by proscribed individuals, such as Dawood Ibrahim and his D-Company, as well as proscribed entities, including the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), listed as affiliates of al-Qaeda, under the 1267 sanctions regime, will serve all of us well,” he said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office last week said “Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan”, a day after a UK court was informed that the underworld don wanted for the deadly coordinated bombings in a metropolis in 1993 is presently in exile within the country.
During the continuing surrender trial of 51-year-old Jabir Moti, a “high-ranking member of D-Company”, Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London heard that Dawood is currently in exile in Pakistan.
“The head of D Company is Dawood patriarch, an Indian Muslim currently in exile in Pakistan. Dawood patriarch and his brother and high lieutenant, Anis Ibrahim, have been fugitives from India since 1993 when D Company was implicated in coordinated bombings in Mumbai that killed more than two hundred folks,” according to a US Attorney’s affidavit for extradition read out by Moti’s barrister Edward Fitzgerald.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has said that Pakistan’s stand that Dawood was not present in the country exposed its “double standards”.
Akbaruddin stressed that terrorism and organised crime are both “manifestly malicious organisms drawing sustenance from the same deadly swamp.
“At times, they co-exist; at other times, they cooperate; and in instances, they converge. As the world becomes additionally interconnected, these menacing networks are becoming increasingly intertwined,” he said.
Terrorist and criminal groups rely on strategic recourse to the unsanctioned and illegitimate use of violence to undermine governance and development. He told the UNSC.
“Both cause destabilising established state structures, thereby undermining and threatening international peace and security,” he said, adding that revenues generated by illicit activities of terrorist and criminal groups are moved across borders and exchanged through open networks.
Akbaruddin asserted that this flow of resources, meant to produce violence and terror, needs to be stopped by states working together.
“Collective inter-state efforts are required, including at regional and sub-regional levels. We additionally got to sensitise the non-public and public enterprises concerned in facilitating legitimate transboundary monetary flows and that we ought to harness their support, so that they do not fall prey to malevolent objectives, in the vein of Osama bin Laden’s string of retail honey shops,” he said, in a reference to the al-Qaeda leader’s reported use of network of shops that sold honey to provide finances for acquiring drugs and arms for the terror network.
Akbaruddin also called for normative efforts at the UN to be coordinated through collaboration with other fora like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“We believe that the FATF is taking part in a big role in setting world standards for preventing and combating concealing and terrorist funding. The UN must increase cooperation with such bodies,” the Indian diplomat said.
With the emergence of new technologies and uncharted frontiers, Akbaruddin said the international community’s challenges in identifying new terrorist trends, mapping links between terrorists and criminal groups, and sharing information more effectively, are growing.
“Finally, our collective commitment to implement what we tend to agree upon during this body can go an extended manner in acting as a catalyst in pursuit of our commonweal,” he said.
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