Pakistan books Hafiz Saeed, 12 others for 'terror' financing through charities

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his close aides have been booked by Pakistani agencies for committing multiple offences of “terrorism” financing and money laundering through the massive funds collected through charities, as Islamabad faced intense international pressure to disrupt groups and curb funding.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police of Pakistan has said that it has registered 23 FIRs under terrorism charges against 13 leaders of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in connection with “terror financing” after they detected “irrefutable evidence” against them.

According to a statement of the CTD, “In its ongoing crackdown against terrorism financing by CTD Punjab Hafiz Saeed of JuD and other leaders booked in cases of terrorism financing.”

The cases have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets/properties made and held in the names of Trusts/ Non Profit Organisations (NPO) including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawat ul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc, the CTD said.

It said a large scale investigation launched into financing matters of JuD & Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in connection with implementation of UN Sanctions against these Designated Entities & Persons as directed by the NSC (National Security Committee) in its meeting on January 1, 2019 chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan for implementing National Action Plan.

The CTD said persons booked under terrorism charges are Saeed, Abdul Rehman Makki (deputy chief of the JuD), MaliK Zafar Iqbal, Ameer Hamza, Muhammad Yahya Aziz, Muhammad Naeem Sh, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Raqeeb, Ahmad Daud, Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah Ubaid, Muhammad Ali and Abdul Ghaffar and others.

The CTD said investigations have been launched into matters of JuD, LeT and FIF regarding their holding and use of trusts to raise funds for terrorism financing.

“They made these assets from funds of terrorism financing. They held and used these assets to raise more funds for further terrorism financing. Hence, they committed multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering under Anti Terrorism Act 1997. They will be prosecuted in ATCs (Anti Terrorism Courts) for commission of these offences.”

It said their assets/NPOs have already been taken over by the government in compliance with the UN Sanctions. 

“Formal investigations on a large scale have been launched against the top leadership of the JuD for terror financing after the registration of FIRs against them during the last two days,” said a spokesperson for the CTD, Punjab.

Pakistani authorities in March sealed the Lahore headquarters of JuD and FIF and detained over 120 suspected militants as part of an ongoing crackdown on banned groups.