DESPITE astronomical credits into real, fake or non-existent accounts, Pakistan has plenty of self-declared millionaires. Aside from declared millions, some legislators received credits of Rs100 million each into their accounts from mysterious sources.
The credits dawned on them through bank ‘alerts’. The uncanny recipients include Raza Rabbani, Ayaz Sadiq, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan.
Sadiq and Shah got the receipts in their chambers in parliament house, while Rabbani received an SME Bank receipt at his Karachi residence. Rabbani claimed it a ‘fraud’ as he did not ‘have an account in SME Bank’. He had called upon ‘SME Bank president and FIA’s director general, asking them to investigate the ‘fraud’.
Similarly, Khursheed Shah said he was surprised to see the term deposit receipts from a private bank where he had no account.
A penniless street ice cream (faluda) vendor Qadir found a credit of $18.6 million into his account. The Guardian dated Oct 4, 2018, reported ‘Qadir’s account is believed to be among at least 77 under investigation by the FIA as part of a massive 35 billion rupee ($283 million) money laundering scheme’.
In another case, Adnan Javed, owner of Lucky International found £50m (eight billion rupees) deposited into his company’s account.
To check credits into unwitting account holders’ accounts, India is mulling a banking rule which would prevent cash deposit in anyone’s account online or through cash deposit machines without account holder’s knowledge and permission.
In India as also in Pakistan, any person can currently deposit money in anyone’s account, fake or real, from any branch of any bank across the country if he knows the account number and bank branch code.
India’s digital doorstep banking will ensure that the new regulation does not inconvenience bonafide transactions.
The FIA traced the ice cream vendor case to clandestine account operator Shabir Bobmat from Dubai. Pakistan’s prime minister alleged that Pakistanis have $700 billion of illicit assets in Dubai. Let the FIA make public outcomes of investigations into 77 other cases, including credits into accounts of politicians.
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019