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Blasts accused used fake documents to get SIM cards

Staff Reporter

Mumbai: Anique Shafique, an alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) member, in police custody for his alleged involvement in the Ahmedabad blasts, prepared bogus documents to procure SIM cards for the other members of the outfit, Rakesh Maria, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) told reporters here on Thursday.

Around 30 to 40 SIM cards were used by the suspects. Anique is a retailer in computers and mobile phones.

The IM members used profiles of people from a popular matrimonial website to prepare the fake papers and get SIM cardsThey also downloaded photos from the site.

The profiles spanned various States — Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi. Passport formats were also made using the profiles.

During the investigation, the police had questioned two people, from Mumbai and Bangalore. They pleaded innocence, but mentioned that their profiles were up on the website.

Financial lifeline

On Wednesday, Mr. Maria said that the suspects withdrew money from two accounts, each belonging to a non-resident Indian.

“We have got accounts operated by NRIs in which small amounts of Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 15,000 were being deposited over a period of time. The accounts were frozen on October 4. The NRIs live in the Gulf and we know their addresses. They have made several trips to India.”

Mr. Maria, however, did not reveal their names or addresses. He said that a lookout notice was issued against them on October 4. The accounts are in two nationalised banks in Mumbai. The total amount in both accounts is Rs. 27 lakh. Mr. Maria said that the accounts were created in the late 90s. . Police investigations have so far tracked withdrawals till 2006. “We are going backwards. Till now we investigated that the IM has been using the money since 2006.” The police are still looking for Riaz and his younger brother Iqbal. While the former handled operations, the latter would brainwash and indoctrinate people into the group, said Mr. Maria.

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