Student accused of sending Bitcoin to IS arrested


— Police say suspects transferred Rs1 million to militant group in a year

LAHORE: The counter-terrorism department (CTD) on Monday arrested an engineering student suspected of sending Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, to the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group in Syria.

In a press conference, CTD deputy inspector general (DIG) Omar Shahid Hamid said the police were probing the alleged terror funding for some time now. The suspects, he said, used to send money to the IS members.

Hamid said the money was deposited in Karachi and being sent to Syria by the suspect, Hafiz Umar bin Khalid, and an accomplice, Zia. He said the department has carried out a forensic examination of Khalid in detention.

Meanwhile, another CTD official, Raja Umar Khitab, said the suspect made a mobile phone account to receive money.

“He used to get money in this account and used to send it with an accomplice from Hyderabad,” said Khitab. Zia, he said, used to first convert the amount into dollars to purchase Bitcoins before sending it to Syria.

“The suspects have transferred close to Rs1 million within a year,” said Khitab. He revealed the families of IS militants use Twitter accounts to seek funds.

Khitab disclosed that Khalid was a final year student at NED University.