FBR detects mega money laundering scam

FBR detects mega money laundering scam

ISLAMABAD: (APP) Intelligence and Investigation Directorate of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had detected money laundering of over US$7 million committed by a Pakistani company, which is engaged in imports of various poultry medical inputs.

"The directorate has discovered over US$ 2.1 million money laundering through hundi to Dubai while the investigations into the US$ 5 million transfer of foreign currency is still under underway," Directorate General Intelligence and Investigation FBR Shaukat Ali addressing a press conference said.

Terming it a 'big catch' he said Marush International, engaged in the imports of poultry vaccines, medicines nutrients, premises, had been involved in massive mis-declaration of value by suppressing the actual transactional value of imported goods by submiting fake import invoices and other documents before customs for clandestine clearance.

Marush had been operating in the country since 2011 and had its offices in Lahore and Karachi, he added.

He said the company had also been involved in illegal import of poultry medicine and vaccines by presenting fake and irrelevant provisional authorization of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.

Shaukat Ali said Marush had been involved in transferring of foreign exchange of the suppressed values to the suppliers abroad through illegal means and the total amount was US$2.149.

He said Al-Nahdi Exchange, Multinet Trust Exchange, Dubai and Malik Exchange and Universal Exchange Center were the some major money exchangers through whom hundi/hawala payments were made.

He said although the FBR intelligence had arrested some persons working with the company, however the owners, father-son duo, were still at large, adding that the directorate would forward its recommendations to place their names in the Exit Control List (EXL) so that they could not go abroad.

He said punishment of such money laundering was about ten years imprisonment under Anti-Money Laundering Act.

He said the directorate had also confiscated medicines of Rs 300 million from the company.

He informed media that the directorate was also investigating about three other cases of money laundering including a case of evasion of duty and taxes by Kontel Technologies and Comprehensive Business International Lahore at East and West Wharves Karachi.

It was observed that the fake invoices showing extremely low value of imported water purification filters were made to evade duty and taxes.

He said the total revenue theft in this case amounted to Rs 139.99 million.

To a question, he said the FBR intelligence was focusing on trade based money laundering which was being done with the sole purpose of evading taxes.

He said earlier, this month, the Regional Office, Customs Enforcement Karachi recovered foreign currency of US$18,900 and Saudi Riyals 76,500 which was being smuggled to Dubai by a passenger.