Lahore: FIA unearths fraudulent transfer of Rs 36m
LAHORE: A fraudulent transfer of Rs 36 million, which paved the way for the arrest of a man and his alleged co-accused on Monday, may provide a lead to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to arrest many other financial and political giants for investigation. Apart from bringing on surface many influential figures, this particular case has all the potential to become a launching pad for mass scale investigations against many private banks, both local and foreign.
The FIA has registered a case against four employees of the Standard Chartered, Dubai, including a mid-career official for their alleged connivance in a forgery case of a bank account belonging to one Inam Akbar, originally maintained in the said bank.
As per details available with The News, when Inam Akbar, after a long gap of two years, withdrew around 0.3 million Dirhams from this account, he became suspicious of something fishy upon receiving the balance statement after the withdrawal as it stated an earlier withdrawal of Rs 36 million. As he approached the bank management and requested them to re-check the records as per his own estimation, he had never withdrawn Rs 36 million. Primarily, the bank was defiant to accept any complaint from their client, insisting the figures on the bank statement were cent percent correct. It was only later the bank management also grew suspicious and found one of its employees, Saqib, had allegedly managed to scan the signature of Inam Akbar and had deleted his cellular number from the accounts particulars and fraudulently inserted the cellular number of one Mohammad Tayyab. After arranging the scanned signatures of Inam Akbar, Saqib managed to mail the same to Tayyab in Pakistan along with a request to the Standard Chartered Bank, Pakistan for the withdrawal of Rs 36 million from the said account.
Tayyab managed to transfer the amount from Inam’s account to one of his alleged co-accused Tasleem Akhtar, who was also maintaining her salary account in the DHA, Karachi branch of the Standard Chartered. After successfully transferring Rs 36 million into her account, she withdrew an amount of Rs 4.3 million from the Standard Chartered, LDA Plaza branch, Lahore and made an online payment of Rs 42,60,000 to a car dealer in DHA, Lahore to buy a 2004 model luxury Porsche car. Interestingly, both Tayyab and Tasleem Akhtar reached to the car dealer by auto rickshaw carrying Rs 40,000 cash after paying Rs 42,60,000 online.
Once the Porsche deal was done, Tayyab and Tasleem withdrew another lump-sum amount of Rs 5 million which helped them have a small vacation in the Pearl Continental Hotel in Bhurban.
By this time, the original account holder, Inam Akbar, had already approached the bank management, contesting the balance statement of his account. When the bank was finally convinced of Inam’s complaint, the management not only lodged a complaint with the FIA but also frozen the said accounts to prevent further transfer or withdrawal from them. On their returning from Bhurban, the accused couple tried to withdraw a required amount through ATM card, which could not work since the bank management had already blocked any transfer or withdrawal from the said account.
When the accused enquired from the bank management, the latter tactfully called them to report directly to the Garden Town branch of the bank where the FIA team was waiting for them. At the infancy stage of the investigations it was revealed, Saqib, who is an employee of the Standard Chartered in Dubai, offered one Mohammad Shahid, also a resident of Dubai and cousin of Mohammad Tayyab, to become partner. Saqib shared his scheme with Shahid following which both the partners agreed to share the transferred amount among four persons — two in Dubai who managed the forgery while the other two in Pakistan who were in charge of the withdrawal.
Subsequently, Shahid convinced his cousin Tayyab to secure the Pakistani front. The second withdrawal of Rs 5 million by the couple was supposed to be sent to Saqib and Shahid in Dubai.
When approached by The News, Mohammad Oan Syed, a senior member of the Standard Chartered and a complainant in this case, refused to say anything on the issue and instead suggested this scribe to contact one Ali Habib at the Karachi headquarter. But, when Ali Habib was contacted on the given land line (021-2425000), no one was available on the other side to attend.