Tracing new links to the Mumbai carnage, a Pakistani father-son duo were on Saturday arrested from Italy for allegedly managing money transfer to finance phone communications of the attackers following leads from Indian and US investigators.
The two men, who ran a money transfer agency, were arrested in an early morning raid from the northern Italian city of Brescia, police said.
The duo have been identified by the police as Mohammad Yaqub Janjua, 60, and Aamer Yaqub Janjua, 31.
They have been accused of aiding and abetting international terrorism as well as illegal financial activity.
On November 25, 2008, a day before the attacks, they transferred USD 229 to activate an internet phone account that was used by the attackers and their accomplices, said Stefano Fonzi, the head of anti-terror police in Brescia.
The funds that enabled the terrorists to be in touch with their handlers in Pakistan were transferred under the identity of another Pakistani man who had never been to Italy and was not involved in the attacks, reports from Italy said.
The two managed a money transfer agency where it is reported to be a common practice to transfer funds using false identities. The Italian police arrested the two men in an early morning raid in Brescia, the police said in a statement.
Italian police started their investigation the following month after being alerted by Indian authorities and the FBI that funds had been transferred from Italy, Fonzi said.
The two were arrested on the charge of providing logistical support for last year's terror attacks in Mumbai, The two, father and son, were arrested in an early morning raid in Brescia.
The suspects managed a money transfer agency and helped fund the Nov. 26 attacks, police said in a statement. The day before the attacks they transferred money to activate an Internet phone account that was used by the attackers and their accomplices, said Stefano Fonzi, the head of anti-terror police in Brescia.
Italian police began the probe in December after being alerted by the FBI that the money had been sent from Italy, Fonzi told AP. The funds were transferred under the identity of another Pakistani man who had never been in Italy and was not involved in the alleged crimes, he said.
The two are accused of aiding and abetting international terrorism as well as illegal financial activity. Transferring funds using the identity of other people was a common practice at the Brescia agency, Fonzi said in a telephone interview.
Two more Pakistanis were arrested in Saturday's raids for allegedly committing fraud and other crimes using the same system, but they were not linked to the Mumbai attacks. A fifth Pakistani man escaped arrest and was still being sought.
Under the same branch of the probe, 12 other people were flagged to prosecutors for possible investigation but were not arrested, Fonzi said. AP