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Circuitous money trail for Patna blasts traced

The arrest of couple Aayesha Bano and Zubair Khan by a team of the Bihar police from Luckeesarai police station has revealed a circuitous route for money transfer to fund these operations. The money was deposited in different accounts across the country in the denominations of Rs 49,000 to conceal the details of depositors. It is pertinent to mention that as per RBI guidelines one has to give PAN details on depositing Rs 50,000 or above.

Sources said that Ayesha Bano and Zubair are mere conduits between the operators and sleeper cells. The couple received instructions through SMSes for depositing the money in different accounts. Sources also said they were getting SMSes from mobile numbers bearing code +92, which is the country code of Pakistan. Zubair was already under the NIA scanner for his involvement in operations carried out by Indian Mujahdeen as he has a dubious past. Zubair runs a bidi-making business in Mangalore and had spent almost six years in Dubai from 1996 to 2006.

So far police have recovered 48 ATMs of mainly two major private banks and equal number of mobile phones too.

Bihar police are investigating a possible link between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the five arrested on the suspicion of their involvement in Patna blasts. They got tip of about the involvement of the couple following the arrest of four others – Gopal Kumar Goyal, Vikash Kumar, Ganesh Kumar and Pawan Gupta – in connection with Hawala funding to Indian Mujahideen.

The first link to Hawala operations in the area was discovered when seven persons were arrested by Jamui police on 7 October 2011. The racket was busted by Jamui assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Pushkar Anand. At least 20 ATM cards of different private and nationalised banks were also recovered at that time from their possession. The modus operandi of the racket was similar to the present one. The money was deposited from Pakistan and other countries in the bank accounts of the people living in Jamui and its adjoining districts, who, subsequently, withdrew the amount through ATMs.
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