Issues on table at terror funding meet: Use of dark web and crowdfunding

India News

At the ministerial conference on countering the financing of terrorism, scheduled to be held in New Delhi later this week, the key issues that the Government plans to discuss with representatives of 75 other countries and global bodies attending the conference include the use of virtual assets and crowdfunding platforms by terrorist entities, their use of the dark web, the links between terror financing and legitimate economic activities, and payment intermediaries.

The meeting, known as the Third Ministerial ‘No Money for Terror (NMFT)’ Conference, will be held on November 18 and 19, and will be hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the conference, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be among the attendees.

Sources told The Indian Express that the Government has prepared the draft agenda for the conference.

“The Indian government is also going to discuss the misuse of non-profit organisations and non-financial businesses and professions in terror financing, as well as terror financing through the Money Transfer Service Scheme and hawala networks,” sources said. India will also focus on discussion about “the challenges faced by investigation agencies while probing terror financing crimes, the sharing of information among financial intelligence units, and recent trends in combating terror financing/money laundering risks”, the sources added.

A Home Ministry spokesperson said, “This conference aims to progress the discussions on combating terrorist financing held by the international community in the previous two (NMFT) conferences in Paris (in 2018) and Melbourne (in 2019). Discussions at the third NMFT conference will be focused on global trends in terrorism and terrorist financing, the use of formal and informal channels of funding terrorism, emerging technologies and terrorist financing, and requisite international cooperation to address related challenges.”

“Globally, countries have been affected by terrorism and militancy for several years. India has suffered several forms of terrorism and its financing over more than three decades. Hence, it understands the pain and trauma of similarly impacted nations. In order to display solidarity with peace-loving nations and to help create a bridge for sustained cooperation on countering terrorist financing, India was host to two global events in October — the annual General Assembly of the Interpol in Delhi and a special session of the UN Counter Terrorism Committee in Mumbai and Delhi. The forthcoming NMFT conference will further our efforts to build understanding and cooperation amongst nations,” the MHA spokesperson said.

At the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee meeting held last month, the threat posed by terror funding through cryptocurrency and the use of the Internet by terrorist outfits were among the key concerns raised. The Delhi Declaration adopted at the meeting called on member states to “consider and assess risks associated with prepaid cards, virtual assets and crowdfunding platforms, and implement risk-based anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations, monitoring, and supervision to providers of relevant services”. The declaration acknowledged the “essential” role of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in this regard and asked member states to enhance the traceability and transparency of financial transactions.

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