New Delhi: An anti-terrorism court in Lahore, Pakistan, has indicted Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai, on terror financing charges. He has been indicted for financing terror through five shell organisations. The indictment came ahead of a meeting of global terror funding watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in February 2020 to decide whether to blacklist Pakistan for its failure to curb terror financing.
Saeed, the chief of the proscribed Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) was indicted along with other leaders, who were booked in July for offences pertaining to terror financing.
On Saturday, the court had delayed the indictment owing to unavailability of one of the suspects in a case registered by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on charges of terror financing.
The CTD of the Punjab Police had registered 23 FIRs against Saeed and his accomplices on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of the Punjab province and arrested him on July 17.
He is currently detained at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.
The cases against him have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terror financing through assets/properties made and held in the names of Trusts/Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust and Muaz Bin Jabal Trust.
Under pressure from the international community, the Pakistani authorities have launched investigations into matters of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), JuD and its charity wing the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) for their holding and use of trusts to raise funds for terrorism financing.
On July 3, the top 13 leaders of the banned JuD, including Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The United States has offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to the conviction of Saeed, who has been arrested and released several times over the past decade. He is designated a terrorist by the US and the United Nations.
(With agencies inputs)