India's Market Regulator Warns Of Terrorism-Tainted Funds, Issues Updated UN Sanctions List

Indian stock markets
A broker monitors share prices while trading at a brokerage firm in Mumbai on May 13, 2014. Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

In a bid to prevent terrorist organizations from using Indian financial markets, Securities and Exchange Board of India, or SEBI, issued a directive to stock exchanges, depositories and other entities in the country, cautioning them against funds being funneled to Taliban and al-Qaida linked organizations and individuals, Press Trust of India reported Sunday.

The statement, issued on July 7, reportedly includes an updated sanctions lists issued by the United Nations Security Council. One of the lists contains details of individuals, entities and groups associated with the Taliban while the other consists of information about those linked to al-Qaida. SEBI also informed market participants, including the country’s two main stock exchanges -- the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange -- of the changes that were made to the sanctions list when they were last updated on June 26.

SEBI also instructed all registered market entities to alert the board and the Home Ministry within 24 hours of detecting the presence of blacklisted names on their client lists. The agency also asked market players to be careful not to sign up as new clients people and organizations whose names appear in the sanctions lists.

“Further, it has been directed that registered intermediaries shall continuously scan all existing accounts to ensure that no account is held by or linked to any of the entities,” the circular stated. It also added that details of accounts “bearing resemblance with any of the individuals or entities in the list” should immediately be reported to SEBI and the Financial Intelligence Unit of India.

Names of organizations like the Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami, which was suspected to have been involved in a terrorist attack in the Indian city of Pune in 2010; the Global Relief Foundation, which was labeled as a front organization for terrorist groups by the United States treasury department in 2002; and Dawood Ibrahim, a fugitive underworld boss and one of India’s most wanted persons, are among those included in the list.

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