Terrorist groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Balochistan have been receiving billions of rupees each month through banking channels and money exchange companies, sources in Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have revealed.
These companies in collusion with some bankers have been transferring huge amounts to unnamed bank accounts in Quetta and Peshawar. The FIA has recently found evidence of transfer of billions of rupees to the two cities in the last few months.
According to sources, the FIA made these discoveries during its investigations into the multibillion rupee Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP) scam.
Ironically, the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and other institutions, whose task is to curb the illegal business of hundi and hawala, are completely unaware of these dubious transactions, made right under their nose.
If the law enforcers can trace the people receiving billions of rupees through unnamed accounts in Peshawar and Quetta, they will possibly be able to unearth terrorist activities funded by this money.
Sources said that after these startling facts, FIA officials were busy uncovering the huge illegal business of money transfer. After discovering evidence of transfer of Rs1billion to Peshawar and Quetta in the last few months, the FIA has registered nine cases under the Anti-Money Laundering Act and arrested dozens of officials of private banks.
According to sources, a renowned money exchange company has transferred around Rs34billion to Quetta and Peshawar in the last few months through its unnamed accounts. Interestingly, money exchange companies and banks have no information about the senders and receivers of the money.
The FIA has frozen dozens of unnamed accounts in Quetta and Peshawar and issued written notices to their holders. However, as the details submitted for opening the accounts have proven to be incorrect, the FIA has started trying to look for their possible link to terrorist activities.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2014.