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INDIA -Linkage between Organized Crime and Terrorism

INDIA -Linkage between Organized Crime and Terrorism

INTRODUCTION 

  • While organized crime involves many activities, its linkages with terrorism stem from illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and human beings and money laundering. Terrorist groups, whether indigenous or sponsored by outside states, need arms and money for their fight against the security forces.
  • Organized crime conglomerates need a clientele and couriers who can smuggle drugs, arms and human beings across the countries and regions.
  • In India, the linkages between the two exist at national and transnational levels. At the national level, both terrorists and those involved in organized crime are within India.
  • At the international level, collaboration exists between transnational syndicates and terrorists from inside and outside India.

North-East India

  • In northeast India, almost all the militant groups run a parallel government or have their areas of influence and are involved in collecting money directly from the people. Much of the government funds reach the militants indirectly due to mis-­governance.
  • Government officials in conflict zones are either threatened or bribed to award contracts to individuals patronized by the militant groups.
  • Extortion, kidnap, contracts and black marketing still fall short of financing the nefarious activities of the militants. This is where transnational drugs and arms syndicates come into play.
  • Terrorist organizations in India, especially in the northeast, mobilize funds by becoming couriers of illegal drugs and arms and at times even human beings from one point to another within the country. Some of the infamous entry points from Southeast Asia include Moreh and the entire Chittagong Hill tracts, especially Cox’s Bazaar.
  • Initially, international criminal syndicates had their own network; however, with these routes being taken over by various terrorist groups in the northeastern states, the syndicates started using these groups instead of bribing them to let their consignments get through.

Kashmir

  • In Kashmir, the linkages between terrorists and organized crime exist at a different level. Unlike the northeast, reliance on funds from extortion and other related means is minimal. There is no parallel government in Kashmir and government resources do not reach militant hands.
  • However, external funds compensate for inadequate internal mobilization. External funds reach the militant organizations fighting in Kashmir thorough various means. For instance, enormous funds that are mobilized in Pakistan and other Muslim countries, especially in the Gulf, are channelled through various organizations in Pakistan to Kashmir.
  • Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad, for example, mobilizes funds from inside and outside Pakistan, to support its militant wing, Lashkar-e­-Toiba.
  • Besides, external funds are also routed through select organizations and individuals in Kashmir, which finally reach the militants. Money laundering plays a significant role. Hawala (money laundering) transactions take place swiftly and effectively in Kashmir.
  • Besides, it is also believed that the ISI uses drug money to fund militant activities in Kashmir.
  • Another significant relationship between organized crime and terrorism, especially in Kashmir, is through the spread of counterfeit currency; Terrorists are the main couriers of Indian counterfeit currency inside Kashmir, which then spreads all over India.
  • Even guides for the militants from across the border are paid with counterfeit money. In fact, when some of the ‘indigenous’ militants were also paid with counterfeits, it resulted in squabble between them and the so-called guest militants.
  • Besides Kashmir and the northeast, sporadic incidents in other parts of India like the Mumbai blasts, for instance, have exposed the connection between terrorism and organized crime. This is distinct from the traditional linkages flourishing between organized crime syndicates and local criminals.

UN CONVENTION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME AND THE PROTOCOLS

  • This is the only international convention, which deals with organized crime.
  • It represents international community’s commitment to combating transnational organized crime and acknowledging the UN’s role in supporting this commitment.
  • The adoption of the Convention at the 55th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2000 and its entry into force in 2003 marked a historic commitment by the international community to counter organized crime.
  • The Organized Crime Convention offers States parties a framework for preventing and combating organized crime, and a platform for cooperating in doing so.
  • States parties to the Convention have committed to establishing the criminal offences of participating in an organized crime group, money laundering, corruption and obstruction of justice in their national legislation.
  • By becoming parties to the UNTOC, States also have access to a new framework for mutual legal assistance and extradition, as well as a platform for strengthening law enforcement cooperation.
  • States parties have also committed to promoting training and technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of national authorities to address organized crime. INDIA -Linkage between Organized Crime and Terrorism

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