FIA identifies money exchanges, individuals involved in illegal sale, purchase of dollars

Shahid Aslam Special Correspondent - Lahore

12th Oct, 2021. 07:41 pm
dollar depreciated

LAHORE: Taking notice of capital flight from the country, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore has identified money exchange companies and at least 600 individuals allegedly involved in the sale and purchase of $64 million via structural method in violation of the State Bank of Pakistan’s regulations, BOL News has learnt.

Sources in the FIA said that by adopting a structural method, evasion of dollars in the foreign currency accounts can be done.

“This planned activity was adopted for hoarding of dollars, as well as to hide money laundering,” the agency said in a statement.

According to FIA, thousands of transactions were made by various individuals and the exchange companies in a structured manner. The transactions were kept below $35,000 or $50,000 to evade the SBP’s due-diligence protocols, they added.

According to the documents, $63 million was sold to 100 buyers only, whereas another $100 million was sold to 500 buyers through this method.

By showing the transaction limit less than $35,000, the SBP was unable to get a hint of the illegal flight of the capital from Pakistan, the sources said.

The FIA Lahore has summoned the owners of the exchange companies and all those 600 individuals who were involved in the practice.

One such notice has been sent to Malik Kaleem of Peshawar for the purchase of $1,364,000 from various exchange companies in cash.

“You are; therefore, hereby required to appear (in person) on Monday the 11, October 2021 at 11:30 am at the FIA office, 1-Temple Road, Lahore before the investigation team and bring along with all the relevant documents,” the FIA said in its notice to Kaleem.

The FIA investigators have also asked such buyers to inform them about all their foreign currency accounts held by them in Pakistan.

The FIA was directed by its Director General Sanaullah Abbasi to launch a countrywide campaign against illegal flight of capital from Pakistan after the rupee depreciated against the dollar.

Abbasi had asked all the FIA zones to start a manhunt for all those exchange companies, as well as individuals who were allegedly involved in hoarding and illegal sale and purchase of dollars.

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