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Fake passport case: Bhatkal suspects' links being probed

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 11 @ 03:38:11 CST

International: Politics
The Hindu, Jan 01 2011Trail of funds drawn illegally in Malaysia under scrutiny
Six persons who were arrested by the Uttara Kannada police at Bhatkal on the charges of possessing 32 fake passports are being questioned whether any terror group had taken their help to carry out attacks against India. On a tip-off from Central intelligence agencies, the District Criminal Investigation Bureau (DCIB) arrested Mohammad Yunus Ali, Sajjid Ahmad, Mohammmad Saddiq, Mohammad Yusuf Misba, Yunus Saleem Misba, and Mohammad Gous Meera. All are residents of Bhatkal and returned from Malaysia on Saturday. Two other accused, Muhammad Saleem of Bangalore and Ashish Agarwal of Mumbai, are missing.

Sources said the six persons were taken into custody by the Malaysian police in Kuala Lumpur in August last on the charges of possessing fake passports. They also faced charges of drawing about Rs. 200 crore from a bank there in a fraudulent name. They were kept in a Malaysian jail for more than four months. It is alleged a major part of the money was transferred to the UAE and India through Bangladesh. Alleged mastermind The Indian intelligence agencies were monitoring the movement of Mohammad Yunus alias ‘Dollar' Yunus, who is said to be the mastermind behind the crimes committed in Malaysia. Mohammad Yunus, who was running a cyber café at Bhatkal few years ago, closed it after he suffered losses. Then he reportedly started a business in ‘collaboration' with a Malaysian company and had been frequently visiting Malaysia. He is said to have acquired considerable wealth in a short period and the police are trying to find out what business he was engaged in. Investigators are trying to find out whether the gang helped Riyaz Bhatkal and his brother Iqbal Bhatkal to escape from India by creating fake passports. They are also probing whether the funds withdrawn by the accused in Malaysia were transferred to any terror organisation, such as the Indian Mujahideen. Speaking to The Hindu, Raman Gupta, Superintendent of Police, Uttara Kannada, said the police had just begun the investigation and more time was required to arrive at any conclusion. He said India had issued a ‘look out' notice against all the eight accused and based on that the DCIB has arrested them. The accused had committed the crime in Malaysia and the fake passports were in the possession of the Malaysian police. Asked about the alleged link of Yunus with the Bhatkal brothers who are wanted by the Indian police for terror activities, Mr. Gupta said the allegation was being probed.



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