Karachi: Charge-sheet filed against forex dealer
KARACHI: An interim charge–sheet against the director of a foreign exchange firm was submitted in the court of district and sessions judge (south) on Saturday in a case pertaining to illegal transfer of foreign currency worth billions of rupees abroad. The Federal Investigation Agency arrested Mehboob Rehmatullah Moti, director and partner of Al–Sahara Exchange Company, on Dec 17. According to the prosecution, a case was registered against the suspect after initiating an inquiry on a complaint (No 108/2008) 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 illegal transfer of Rs27.907 million abroad with the connivance of different banks, exchange companies, money changers, businessmen and private parties. It said that the investigators had seized six servers and two desktop computers of the company, containing data of such unauthorised transactions. Four illegal transactions had so far been determined, according to the charge-sheet. Three of them, amounting to Rs13 million, Rs6.640 million and Rs2.159 million, were made through two accounts in Bank Alfalah`s Gizri branch and one account in Paper Market branch, respectively. An amount of Rs6.108 million was transferred through another account titled Abdul Qadir Sajdi Qadri of Titan Fabric in Soneri Bank`s main branch from March 2006 to June 30, 2008, the charge-sheet said.
The investigation officer said that further investigation was under way and its findings would be mentioned in the final charge–sheet. It was said that role of the account holders, Mohammad Shahid, Mohammad Afzal, Abdul Qadri and Mohammad Abid, was being determined.
The suspect`s wife, Tahira, his son, Abdul Murjeer Moti, and Khubab, son of Mohammad Iqbal, a director of the company, have been shown absconders in the interim charge–sheet. The investigation officer placed the names of 17 prosecution witnesses, including bank officers and FIA officials, in the charge–sheet. He submitted two copies of the charge-sheet in court – one under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 and the other under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance, 2007.
A case (83/2008) was registered against the suspect under Sections 5, 8, 22 and 23 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 read with 7, 8 & 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance, 2007 and 409, 420, 467, 471, 477-A/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the FIA crime circle branch, Karachi.
According to the prosecution, the foreign exchange company indulged in a huge illegal transfer of money with the connivance of banks, exchange firms and private parties. 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.
The inquiry revealed that for conducting the unlawful business, the company had created an online transfer system named “Wallsof”. Through the Wallsof, the firm besides its authorised business conducted illegal transfer of money. The suspect fraudulently and with criminal intention had opened a number of bogus accounts in different banks for “Hawala” in alleged collaboration with bankers concerned while four of such accounts had so far been identified.
The bank accounts are account number 0162-01-000192 titled Mohammad Shahid and account number 162-01-000300 titled Mohammad Afzal, owner of Afzal Trading, in Gizri branch of Bank Alfalah, account number 23721–01 titled Abdul Qadir Sajdi Qadri of Titan Fabric in Soneri Bank`s main branch on I.I. Chundrigar Road, and account number 1003095 titled Mohammad Abid in Paper Market branch of Bank Alfalah.
The FIR said that a number of foreign currency accounts were also used within the country and abroad for such transactions.