Two arrested militants have reportedly confessed to receiving funds through Bitcoin from extremist groups since 2014.
Bangladesh Police have reportedly revealed that Bangladesh extremist groups have been using Bitcoin to fund Kashmir-based terroristterroris activity.
The Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police are said to have arrested two militants belonging to an extremist group known as Ansar Al Islam in September 2019.
During interrogation, Awal Newaz (alias: Sohel Newaz) and Fazle Rabbi Chowdhury revealed that militant groups Ansar Al Islam (AI) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) have been sending funds to Kashmir-based militants through Bitcoin since 2014.
The two militants claimed they were initially collecting money through ‘hundi’, but they moved to Bitcoin due to surveillance by law enforcement. They also confirmed that large sums of money in the form of cryptocurrency have been collected from Pakistan and Gulf countries.
Bangladesh anti-terrorism officials say terrorism financing in the region is largely being carried out with the help of cryptocurrency.
“It’s very tough to monitor the illegal transaction of Bitcoin as we have not advanced technical devices to monitor it,” said Ahmedul Islam of the Special Action Group. “It’ll be a big challenge for the law enforcers to check the virtual currency in the future.”
Cryptocurrency is banned in Bangladesh. In December 2017, Bangladesh Bank issued a notice asking the public to refrain from virtual currency transactions.
The Criminal Investigation Department – a specialised intelligence and investigation wing of the Bangladesh Police – as well as the Dhaka Metropolitan Police and other police units are said to be on the lookout for illegal virtual transactions in the country.