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NIA probes international links in NE arms deal

August 31, 2009 14:13 IST

The National Investigation Agency has stumbled upon international links while probing terror-related cases involving Black Widow, an Assam-based militant outfit.

The anti-terror federal agency, probing the first case after its constitution in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack, has so far arrested ten people, mostly arms dealers and linkmen. Seven of them have been arrested in Guwahati and North Cachar Hills, two in Kolkata and one in Mizoram, revealed a top NIA official.

He said a key arms dealer, Vannesem, arrested recently in Mizoram, confessed to supplying over seven consignments of arms to the banned Dima Halem Daogah (Jewel faction), known as Black Widow on separate occasions. The agency has also traced links of these arms dealer to countries like Myanmar and Malaysia.

''We are still investigating the matter. They may have more international links,'' the official said. The agency is also looking into the nexus between militants, politicians, officials and contractors in the North-East, which is allegedly siphoning off government funds meant for development.

While probing the recovery of cash amounting to over Rs one crore from a militant, the Assam police had earlier found the nexus led to siphoning off of large amount of funds to insurgent groups for purchase of arms and ammunition.

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