The US Treasury said on Thursday it had imposed sanctions on the Altaf Khanani money laundering operations and its Dubai-based supporter, the Al Zarooni Exchange, for laundering money for criminals and political extremists.
India welcomed the move, as the Pakistan based group and its Dubai affiliate are alleged to have ties with terror groups including the Dawood Ibrahim syndicate.
''The Khanani Money Laundering Organization exploits its relationships with financial institutions to funnel billions of dollars across the globe on behalf of terrorists, drug traffickers, and criminal organizations,'' US Acting Treasury Undersecretary Adam Szubin said in a statement.
He said the designation of the two groups would help prevent them from "gaining access to the international financial system to launder money for these illicit actors.''
These groups were active in helping drug lords and particularly the 'D Company', as the Dawood gang has become known in India, to launder cash. The money transactions of the Dawood gang were difficult for the Indian agencies to crack. More importantly it is the money that the D Company earned which made them relevant in Pakistan.
The laundering racket is inter-connected. Money earned by the D Company is laundered and lands up with terrorist groups at the behest of Pakistan's official spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
India has launched a major drive against the business interests of the D-Gang. Right from detecting properties in the UK and the UAE, the Indian agencies have also sought international assistance to weaken the network.
In the backdrop of such an exercise being carried out by India, this move by the US is welcome as it would help cripple the D network to a large extent.