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By Julie.Scharper
A Pakistani national who lived in Washington and Maryland pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to conspiring to launder money and concealing terrorist funding, the U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday.Saifullah Anjum Ranjha, 45, operated a Washington-based company called Hamza that lent money through a traditional system of money transfer called hawala, according to a statement released by the Justice Department.”As the U.S. financial industry strengthens its anti-money laundering programs, the use of the hawala system to move illicit funds becomes increasingly attractive to terrorist and other criminal organizations,” James Dinkins, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, said in the statement.According to the Justice Department, in October 2003, a person working under the direction of the FBI and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office approached Ranjha and struck a deal with him to transfer large sums of money. The undercover operative told Ranjha that the money was related to drug trafficking, terrorist financing and trafficking contraband cigarettes

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