Lahore: FIA busts another illegal money transfer company
LAHORE: While investigating money-laundering charges against Khanani and Kalia International (KKI) executives, the FIA has unmasked another illegal online money transfer company that allegedly belongs to MehboobMoti — Al–Sahara Exchange Company’s detained director. FIA investigations indicate the soft website — www.wallsoft.com — is being run with the connivance of some top officials in the banking sector, exchange companies, businessmen and private parties. Described as an unlawful system of illegal money transfers worth billions of rupees, the system had been functioning side by side with authorised channels of the Al–Sahara Exchange Company. In addition to this discovery, well-placed sources revealed to The News on Wednesday, the FIA had detected four benami (anonymous) or bogus bank accounts allegedly opened and operated by the Al–Sahara Exchange Company for illegal money transfers.
Of the four bogus bank accounts, three are reportedly being operated in the Bank Al–Falah, which includes A/c No 0162-01-000102 [in the name of Mohammad Shahid], A/c No 16201000300 [in the name of Mohammad Afzal, owner of M/s Afzal Trading], and A/c No 1003065 [in the name of Mohammad Abid].
The fourth one was traced in Soneri Bank, where A/c No 23721-01 was being operated in the name of Abdul QadirSajidiQadri, the owner of the Titan Fabrics. Through these bank accounts, FIA investigations revealed, the Al–Sahara Exchange Company had received billions of rupees from private parties for the purpose of hawala. The money was subsequently sent to several other parties to complete as part of the vicious circle. A number of foreign currency accounts, inside and outside Pakistan, were used for illegal transfers of foreign exchange. The FIA claimed to have found a nexus between the Al-Sahara Exchange Company and the Khanani&Kalia International (KKI), as some of the illegal foreign exchange transfers to the UAE took place through the KKI network.
An earlier discovery of an unlawful computer system — www.clickpk.com — which was allegedly being run by the KKI, had led to the unearthing of inward remittances of over Rs1038 billion over the last 35 months.
While confusion reigns supreme over such a voluminous amount of illegal inward (home remittances) by the KKI through www.clickpk.com, the newly discovered channel www.wallsoft.com is also expected to shock the public at large as well as the experts.
The unbelievably huge volume of inward remittances through www.clickpk.com was recorded between July 18, 2005 and November 6, 2008 through 146815 transactions, involving an amount of Rs103849300144.
Official sources claimed the KKI had deprived the State Bank of Pakistan of the much-needed foreign exchange equivalent to Rs250 billion, since the exchange companies were required to sell 25 per cent of the total volume of inward remittances to the central bank at the inter-bank rate.
It is not yet known as to how the investigators will be able to work out the exact amount of tax evasion in such a huge volume of inward remittances, because nobody knows how much the arrested directors of the KKI had actually earned by serving their customers, chiefly due to the fact that there is no hard and fast rule to determine the service charges being realised by this company.