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Govt sets up elite unit to combat terror financing

New Delhi: In order to effectively deal with funding of terrorist activities, the government is putting in place an elite unit in the Home Ministry to combat the menace, which has a bearing on national security.

The first-ever such cell will function under the Ministry of Home Affairs, but will be headed by an officer of the Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax), sources said.

The unit will function as the "nodal office" between various investigative and enforcement agencies to deal exclusively with cases of terror financing and instances of money laundering for such activities.

According to sources, the cell will have a strength of eight officials initially and will be a part of the Internal Security-I division of the Home Ministry.

"The cell, the first such in the Home Ministry, will take up all cases related to terror funding in India and abroad. It will collate intelligence and information from all law enforcement agencies and coordinate with them," a senior officer privy to the development said.

Initially, the cell will liaise with agencies like the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate, CBI and Directorate General of Customs and Central Excise Intelligence.

Subsequently, the unit will scrutinise information collected from central police organisations and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The unit will start functioning soon, sources said, adding that the creation of such a special cell was felt necessary after these agencies found a number of cases having a bearing on national security.

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