Karachi: Forex dealer remanded
KARACHI: A judicial magistrate (south) on Thursday remanded the director of a foreign exchange firm in Federal Investigation Agency custody till Dec 22 for his alleged involvement in a foreign currency scam. The FIA arrested Mehboob Rehmatullah Moti, the director and partner of Al–Sahara Exchange Company, on Dec 17 in Karachi on charges of illegally transferring foreign currency worth billions of rupees from the country. The suspect was produced in the court of civil judge and judicial magistrate-X (south) Asif Ahmed. The investigators sought the physical remand of the suspect for 14 days. However, the court remanded the suspect in FIA custody till Dec 22 and directed the FIA officials to produce him in court on the next hearing.
A case (83/08) was registered against the suspect under Sections 5, 8, 22 and 23 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947 read with Sections 7, 8 & 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance, 2007 and Sections 409, 420, 467, 471, 477-A/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the FIA crime circle branch, Karachi.
According to the FIR, a case was registered against the suspect on Dec 17 after initiating an inquiry on a complaint (No.108/08) lodged by the State Bank of Pakistan regarding illegal transfer of money abroad. It said that besides the authorised exchange business, the firm indulged in huge illegal transfer of money with the connivance of different banks, exchange companies, money changers, businessmen and private parties.
The inquiry revealed that for conducting unlawful business of foreign exchange, the company had created an online transfer system named “Wallsof”, through which, besides its authorised business, it conducted illegal transfer of money side by side with the legal business.
It further claimed that for conducting illegal business of “Hawala”, the suspect, fraudulently and with criminal intention, had opened a number of bogus accounts in different banks in alleged collaboration with the banks officers concerned while four of such accounts had so far been identified.
The bank accounts are account number 0162–01–000192 account title Mohammad Shahid at Bank Al–Falah Gizri branch, account number 23721–01 title Abdul Qadir Sajdi Qadri of Titan Fabric in Soneri Bank main branch I.I. Chundrigar Road, account number 16201000300 title Mohammad Afzal owner of Afzal Trading in Bank Al–Falah Gizri branch and account number 1003095 account title Mohammad Abid at Bank Al-Falah Paper Market branch.
The FIR further said that a number of foreign currency accounts were also used inside and outside the country for such transactions while the firm, in violation of the rules and regulations of the State Bank, indulged in illegal outward remittance of huge foreign exchange from Pakistan during the past few years.
The suspect had allegedly received billions of rupees from private parties for the purpose of Hawala, which were subsequently transferred to other parties that caused huge financial losses to the national exchequer, it added.