RAWALPINDI: The government has directed the Punjab police to assist the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and the Customs Department in their crackdown against money laundering.

Following the government’s directives, the inspector general of police (IGP) has asked the divisional police chiefs to cooperate with the government agencies against money laundering whenever they intended to launch a crackdown.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier said he would himself monitor the progress of a task force and other relevant departments to recover looted money and prevent its laundering. The government has also been seeking support of other countries in tracing money illegally transferred out of Pakistan.

In this regard, the high-powered task force, comprising officials of the FIA and other intelligence agencies, has been constituted to recover ill-gotten wealth of Pakistanis and stashed in foreign countries.

The FIA has already been investigating into several cases related to money laundering and recently its crime wing raided a money changer’s office in Rawalpindi allegedly involved in illegal transfer of money abroad. Three persons were arrested and a huge amount of currency was seized during the raid at the office located in a plaza in Saddar.

A senior police official told Dawn that following the IGP’s directives, they had been providing assistance to the FIA and other government agencies whenever they asked for it during their crackdown on hundi (hawala).

At the Islamabad International Airport, joint desks of the FIA, customs and the Airport Security Force (ASF) have already been set up to keep a check on smuggling of foreign currencies out of the country.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2018