The US Treasury Department added a Pakistani hawala, or money exchange, and two of its owners, to the lists of global terrorists and entities.
Rahat Ltd., a Pakistan-based hawala, and its owner, Mohammed Qasim, and the owner and manager of the Quetta, Pakistan branch, Musa Kalim, were designated for terrorist activities under Executive Order 13324 on Nov. 20. The hawala and Qasim and Kalim are associated with Mullah Naim Barich, the Taliban’s shadow governor of Helmand province who was designated as a narcotics kingpin just six days ago [see LWJ report, US adds Taliban shadow governor of Helmand to narcotics kingpin list].
Treasury described Rahat Ltd. as “a hawala that facilitates financial activities for the Taliban,” and said Barich “provides funds through Rahat Ltd. to subordinate Taliban commanders to plan and conduct operations in southern Afghanistan.”
Rahat Ltd.’s branch in Quetta is a main hub for Taliban financial operations. The Quetta branch has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to several Taliban commanders in Afghanistan. And, “[a]s of early 2012, Barich had received millions of dollars through the Quetta branch,” according to Treasury, and has used the location to send $250,000 to a senior Taliban commander in the south.
Quetta is a major hub of Taliban activity. The Quetta Shura, the Taliban’s executive council, is based there, as is the regional military council that shares the same name.
Mohammed Qasim, Rahat Ltd.’s owner, uses “his hawalas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran to facilitate Taliban financial transfers.” He also serves as “a financial assistant” to Barich and has “helped to transport weapons and ammunition for the Taliban and, as of mid-2011, frequently smuggled weapons into Helmand Province for the Taliban.”
Musa Kalim is the the owner of the Quetta branch of Rahat Ltd., which is “also known as the New Chagai Trading Company and the Musa Kalim Hawala.” According to Treasury, “the bulk of Kalim’s hawala business consisted of transferring Taliban and smugglers’ funds.”
Kalim manages and transfers funds from the Taliban’s donors in the Gulf states. Additionally, Barch uses Kalim “to move and hold his finances.”
Rahat Ltd. is the third hawala in the Afghan-Pakistan region to be added to the US’s list of terrorist entities for supporting the Taliban so far this year. On June 29, the Treasury Dept. added the the Haji Khairullah Haji Sattar Money Exchange (HKHS) and the Roshan Money Exchange (RMX), and the owners of HKHS, Haji Abdul Sattar Barakzai and Haji Khairullah Barakzai, to the terrorism sanctions list for supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. The hawalas operate in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and “have been used by the Taliban to facilitate money transfers in support of the Taliban’s narcotics trade and terrorist operations.”
The US has previously designated several Pakistan-based “businessmen” who have funneled cash and other aid to the Taliban and al Qaeda [see LWJ reports, US designates 2 Pakistanis for running al Qaeda and Taliban charitable front groups, and US adds 5 al Qaeda, Taliban, Haqqani Network, and IMU facilitators to terrorist list, for examples.]
In April 2010, the US added Mohammed Mazhar, the director of the Al Akhtar Trust, and Mufti Abdul Rahim, the leader of the Al Rashid Trust, to the list of global terrorists for supporting and funding the Taliban and al Qaeda. Both “trusts” were designated as terrorist entities in 2003 and 2002, respectively.
In September 2011, Hajji Faizullah Khan Noorzai, a Taliban and al Qaeda financier and trainer, and Hajji Malik Noorzai, a Taliban financier, were also added to the list of global terrorists. Both financiers operate from Pakistan.
The Pakistani government has not moved against any of the Taliban and al Qaeda financiers despite the fact that they operate openly.