PESHAWAR: The Federal Investigation Agency’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zone on Tuesday registered the province’s first-ever money laundering case over cryptocurrency transactions following an inquiry.
However, the accused, Danyal Farooq of Nowshera district, wasn’t arrested until night.
The FIR registered by the FIA revealed that an inquiry was launched against Danyal Farooq for maintaining 10 different bank accounts with transactions of Rs870 million during the last three years, including a credit turnover of approximately Rs437 million and a debit turnover of around Rs436 million, which was found to be not proportionate with the declared profile of the accused.
According to it, the statement of accounts of the accused revealed that between June 2020 and April 2021, the credit turnover of the account was Rs223 million comprising online cash deposit of Rs101 million, inter-bank funds transfers of Rs51.8 million and internet fund transfer of Rs42 million.
The cash withdrawals revealed that Rs129 million was debited through cash mode, Rs55 million through IBFT and Rs33 million through the internet fund transfer.
Official says efforts being made to arrest Nowshera resident
The FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn, said the FIA served a notice on Farooq, who appeared before the investigation team and insisted that he was doing business of ‘general order supply’ to different stores.
It added that the accused invested in cryptocurrency after buying the US dollars from different people.
The FIR said the people used to send Pakistani rupees to the accused through bank accounts and the latter provided cryptocurrency to them.
The FIA officials informed Dawn that an inquiry disclosed that the business of the accused was not registered with the Federal Board of Revenue.
According to them, the cryptocurrency business wasn’t allowed in the country by the State Bank of Pakistan and that all transactions made by the accused through cryptocurrency were undocumented, unexplained, unregistered, illegal and tantamount to illegal parallel banking.
“It has been established that the accused laundered money under cryptocurrency,” FIA deputy director at the Commercial Banking Circle Afzal Khan Niazi told Dawn.
He said the agency had registered a case against the accused under relevant sections of the law, while efforts were under way for his early arrest.
Meanwhile, the FIA’s Commercial Banking Circle recovered $0.1 million currency notes during a raid in Showk Yadgar area of the provincial capital on Monday.
“Irfanullah was arrested during the Chowk Yadgar raid. He’s member of a gang. We have recovered $0.1 million from his procession,”Niazi told Dawn.
He also said that a case had been registered against the accused under relevant sections of the law.
Meanwhile, the FIA on Monday arrested Afghan national Khyal Noor and local resident Shah Nawaz over their alleged involvement for doing the illegal hundi hawala business, and recovered Rs1 million and Rs3 million from them, receptively.
Officials also said that receipts of cash transfer were also recovered from the arrested men.
Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2022