FBR detects another scam of illegal funds transfer into bank accounts

Updated December 14, 2019

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The amount has been transmitted into three bank accounts in Quetta. 
— Reuters/File
The amount has been transmitted into three bank accounts in Quetta. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The Karachi-based Intelligence and Investigation department of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has unearthed another scandal involving illegal transfer of over Rs5 billion to bank accounts and its withdrawal in Quetta without payment of taxes, Dawn has learnt from official sources.

The amount has been transmitted into three bank accounts in Quetta.

A tax official told Dawn that the FBR had identified one person in whose name the accounts were opened and operated. He said money had also transmitted from the Quetta bank accounts to Batkhela in Malakand division, a tax-free area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, between 2014 and 2018.

The official said that so far nine accounts had been detected which were inter-connected from Karachi to Quetta and Malakand for evading taxes and hiding sources of income.

Earlier, the tax intellige­nce department has exposed a scam involving illegal transfer of over Rs20bn to bank accounts and its withdrawal in Malakand without payment of taxes

With the fresh discovery, the total amount of the illegal transfer to bank accounts and its withdrawal has now crossed the threshold of over Rs25bn.

According to the official, the tax intelligence department has established that most of the amount has been transacted for the purposes of “smurfing the money for tax evasions”. He said the FBR was further investigating the case to identify other suspects associated with the network.

The tax department would seek details about the source of income from these suspects. However, it was found that these people did not exist on the tax roll of the country. No record of these people is available with the income tax department, which shows that the money transmitted has not been declared.

The tax intelligence dep­a­r­tment has lodged a first in­formation report (FIR) aga­­­inst the suspects belie­ved to be involved in the scam.

According to an official statement of the Directorate of Intelligence and Inv­estigation, illegal and tax evaded money has been de­­posited in bank accounts in remote tax-exempted areas to avoid payment of taxes or to conceal its real source and identity of culprits.

The directorate has launched investigations into most of these cases.

Corrigendum

Apropos a report published in Dawn’s Dec 13 issue and captioned, “FIA unearths Rs20bn illegal bank transfer, withdrawal scam”, it is clarified that it was the Intelligence and Investigation wing of the FBR that traced the transfer of illegal money, and not the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency).

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2019