Lahore: FIA traces gang of currency smugglers
LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has traced another international racket involved in money laundering which has allegedly smuggled over Rs 2 billion in shape of foreign currency to Gulf States during a period of one year. The network was operating under the garb of tour operators and its face office was Talib–e-Madina Tour and Travel Company. Two directors of the company, namely Shaukat Ali and Liaqat Ali, were arrested by a special squad of the FIA, headed by Assistant Director Zia–ul–Islam, here on Thursday. The team also seized Rs 2.5 million, some foreign currency, documents, five Kalashnikovs, two pump action guns from the Empress Road office of the company.
FIA officials said that three other directors of the said company, Ahsanul Haq, Ammanat Ali and Inayat Ali, were living in Jeddah, Riadh and Sharjah. The FIA team also confiscated the computers of Talib-e-Madina Tour and Travel Company in the late night operation and handed them over to its computer experts for getting more information about the modus operndi of the gang. Zia–ul–Islam while talking with The News said the company was making transactions through emails and faxes and later they purchase Saudi Riyals and US dollars from the open market and smuggled that amount abroad. He said that during the initial interrogation of the accused it was revealed that they had sent over Rs 2 billion to different Gulf States as well as Saudi Arabia. The company was also sending people for Umra and Hujj to Saudi Arabia as a covering business. FIA sources said that the agency had now planned to launch a crackdown on Hajj and Umra tour operators to find more such gangs. Officials said a case was registered against the accused and a special team of FIA was due in the city on Friday to further interrogate them.