Dhaka: Bangladesh police today said they have arrested four Pakistanis and 12 others and seized 8 crude bombs and 12.9 million in fake Indian currency while the group was allegedly planning subversive activities.
"Other than the Pakistanis, we arrested 12 Bangladeshis including a doctor while carrying out our overnight raids in different parts of the capital," police spokesman Manirul Islam said.
He said plainclothesmen carried out the raids on a tip-off while they also seized eight crude bombs and a huge amount of counterfeit Indian and Pakistani currencies.
Islam said the four Pakistanis, two of them women, were found to be part of a counterfeit currency clique, who provided the money to Fariduddin Ahmed, a leader of the radical Jamaat-e-Islami party.
"During initial interrogations they admitted that their counterfeit money was being used to regroup banned militant outfits like Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) and JMB (Jamaatul Mujaheedin)" after these groups had been neutralised in the past few years under a massive security clampdown," Islam said.
Islam said Ahmed was suspected to have masterminded major attacks on banks to use the money for buying weapons for militants.
Bangladesh witnessed massive street violence during the past two months over the 1971 war crimes trial with Jamaat-e-Islami leaders being the prime accused in carrying out atrocities while siding with Pakistani troops.
Law enforcement agencies have earlier said Lashkar-e-Toiba and several other extreme rightwing militant groups were still active in Bangladesh while they used its territory for transit to neighbouring India.
Security officials have also warned of militant groups generating funds for their operations by selling counterfeit rupees in India with the fake notes mainly being forged in Pakistan and carried to Bangladesh via Dubai.