FIA unearths 30 benami accounts in K-P

Agency officials say transactions worth Rs10 billion are made through these accounts

Our Correspondent November 04, 2018

PESHAWAR: Federal Investigation Agency has unearthed 30 ‘benami’ bank accounts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) being allegedly used for money laundering.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity on Sunday, an FIA official said the accounts were opened in the name of domestic workers who earned Rs12,000-15,000 a month. However, transactions worth Rs10 billion were made from these accounts, he shared.

He said the bank accounts were located in Shangla, Buner and Bisham. He revealed there were several accounts maintained by illegal foreign currency exchangers who used them for money laundering.

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The official said the business has expanded to almost all the districts across the province. He added that teams had been constituted to raid different areas as part of a crackdown.

According to FIA officials, there were over ’70 big fishes’ that were operating such businesses across the province.

They lamented that the agency faced several problems, including loopholes in laws that provided leverage to the culprits. They said the accused were arrested and sent to jail but were set free after the second or third hearing.

“These people indulge in the same business again because they know they will get bail from courts easily,” another senior official remarked.
He said laws need to be amended and tightened so that the culprits stayed inside prisons.


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