The Anti-Terror Squad of the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Police arrested a Gorakhpur man on Tuesday, June 19, for running a terror funding network. The man, identified as Ramesh Shah, was taken into custody from Pune and will be brought to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh for interrogation.
The UP ATS officials revealed that Shah had travelled to Pune to hire men for the funding network, reported IANS. The officials also said that several people from his gang were arrested in March, of which Mukesh Prasad of Bihar and Musharaf Ansari of Kushinagar worked closely with Shah.
The police also seized a few audio tapes and a diary from the duo in which they found some important clues on Shah and how the gang worked.
After nabbing the 30-year-old, the ATS officials seized his phone and found crucial WhatsApp chats which proved his involvement in the terror network.
How did Shah form and operate the network?
Shah reportedly travelled to cities under false identities and hired people to work with him. He reportedly kept in constant touch with Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) handlers and arranged money for operatives all over the country so that terror networks could function without any kind of financial issues.
He reportedly received money from various sources in Pakistan, the Middle East, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala. The amount was transferred to individuals, who would withdraw the money and hand it over to Shah's gang, who would then pass them on to the LeT operatives in the country.
These individuals were even paid a commission by Shah so that they agreed to receive money from his sources in Pakistan, the Middle East, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala, reported the Times of India. The officials also explained that he kept in touch with the handlers over WhatsApp and internet calls.
The sleuths also explained that Shah was an expert in computer programming and hardware, due to which he was well-versed with advanced technological systems to cover his tracks.
UP ATS IG Asim Arun also told TOI that Shah had been running the racket for about two years now and had exchanged money worth several crore through these individuals, many of who may not even be aware of such a network.
The official also said that Shah would not be put through a detailed interrogation on the network he had created, the LeT handlers in Pakistan, where was the money received from, where did the money go and what was it used for.
Urban Naxal arrested
The arrest comes days after the Chhattisgarh police caught a key Maoist operative. Abhay Devdas Nayak alias Lodda, who is suspected to be a spokesperson of the outfit, was arrested from the immigration counter of the Delhi airport on June 1, the police said on Tuesday, June 12.
A Bengaluru-based techie, Nayak is suspected to be an "important part of the Maoist overground network" and also a part of the outlawed outfit's propaganda bureau. In addition, the 34-year-old is also known to be the one writing and sending out press releases for the outfit.