In Karachi, FBR accuses family of transferring over $4m to foreign accounts

Customs court issues arrest warrants for all four members of the family, FBR submits copies in court

Our Correspondent April 11, 2019
Customs court issues arrest warrants for all four members of the family, FBR submits copies in court. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has initiated action against a family accused of transferring dollars to the United States of America (USA). A customs court issued bailable arrest warrants for four members of a family against a surety of Rs1m each when the FBR informed the court of the transfer of more than $4m outside the country.

The Intelligence and Investigation department of the FBR's Inland Revenue wing submitted copies of the case in the court. According to the FBR, the accused, father Pervaiz Ali, his daughters Sara Ali, Anum Ali and son Jibran Ali, opened several accounts for money laundering purposes in 2016. The family, which has dual nationality of USA and Pakistan, bought large quantities of dollars from different currency exchange outlets in Karachi. The accused then transferred these dollars to the USA via different accounts. According to the FBR, the accused have transferred $4,094,500 to the USA up till now.

The FBR suspects that the accused might have made illegal assets through money laundering.  The accused have allegedly committed tax theft of Rs110m.

The father, Pervaiz Ali, was unable to provide satisfactory answers when he was asked about his assets.

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The court issued bailable arrest warrant for the four members of the Ali family and directed the FBR to further investigate the matter.

Benami accounts

The FBR also made significant progress in its campaign against money laundering. FBR Karachi found six benami accounts which were used for transactions worth more than Rs8 billion. The customs court issued bailable arrest warrants for four accused traders against a surety of Rs2m each.

The investigation officer informed the court that FBR Karachi had found these accounts and that the Intelligence and Investigation department of the Inland Revenue wing initiated investigation after registering a case against the four traders. The accused, Zor Talib Khan, Ammar Khan, Muhammad Hassan and Muhammad Hamza, have been charged with committing tax theft of more than Rs1.26b over the course of five years. The registered addresses of the accused are from Buner district in Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the mobile market in Saddar, Karachi.

According to the FBR, Zor Talib Khan is the proprietor of Salar Khan Enterprises and Salar Mining. Zor Talib opened six benami accounts between the years 2012 to 2017. The accused made transactions worth more than Rs8b during these five years. The benami accounts were used for businesses of paint shops, transporters, oil, spare parts, scrap and electronics. The traders hail from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and had acquired tax exemption certificates from Buner deputy commissioner but most of their businesses were Karachi based.

Zor Talib claimed to be unaware of the accounts when he was sent a notice by the FBR. He maintained that his three partners had fraudulently opened accounts in his name. He said he did not know who was using these accounts in his name.

According to the FBR, notices were sent to the other accused as well but they did not respond. Sections of the criminal code pertaining to money laundering and tax theft were applicable on the accused.

The amount of tax theft committed is estimated to be Rs126,114,196. The estimated fine applicable on the accused will be made after the investigations.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2019.