Banks looted to finance terrorism: Security expert

Mumbai, April 11 (IANS) Bit coin and crypto currencies are becoming major avenues for money laundering and terror groups often rob banks for funding terrorist acts, a top security expert said.

“Investigations have revealed that the hijackers of the Indian Airlines IC-814 had looted a bank three months before the (Kandahar) hijack, which helped them finance the entire terror operations,” said former Maharashtra director general of police and security expert D. Sivanandhan.

Similarly, the terror outfit Indian Mujahiddeen has also been allegedly involved in several bank robberies to finance its operations, Sivanandhan said at a conference — ‘Leveraging Innovative Security Solutions for Banks and Financial Institutions’ — that concluded here late Wednesday.

Based on the concept of crypto currency, Bit coin is an internet-based alternative currency which uses electronic signatures and was developed in 2009.

Sivanandhan, who is the security advisor for the Central Security Cell of the Reserve Bank of India, said that unfortunately investment in security was still considered a redundant expenditure by banks and financial institutions.

He added that banking surveillance was yet to leverage the possibilities of video analytics.

S.R. Mehra, former secretary, security, in the home ministry stressed the need for creating an institutional mechanism to have the highest level of coordination between financial institutions and law enforcement agencies.

Mehra also urged banks to develop a comprehensive “critical infrastructure protection” policy in this direction.

Partho Dasgupta, managing director, NEC India Pvt. Ltd., said that biometrics and facial recognition were part of the best practices for Swiss banks and other global financial institutions which must be adopted in India.

Organised by Security Watch India, a non-partisan, non-profit organisation, the conference attracted heads and top executives of various banks and financial institutions who discussed the entire gamut of security operations for the financial sector.

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