PESHAWAR: The Commercial Banking Circle of the Federal Investigation Agency, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zone, has booked three private companies for violating a limit on the purchase of the US dollars.

Deputy director of the circle Afzal Khan Niazi told Dawn that cases had been registered against the Shahzad Enterprises, Yousaf Rehman Enterprises and Junaid Enterprises under sections 3 and 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010, and sections 5 and 23 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947, after investigators found them to be buying 4.9 million American dollar notes.

He also said inquiries were under way against 11 other companies and three individuals on the same charges and cases would be registered after the probe completion.

Mr Niazi said that the dollar purchases by 13 companies during the last 10 years were “thoroughly investigated” and initially, only three of them were charged with violating the purchase curbs under the relevant laws.

Official says cases against more firms likely after ongoing inquiries

He said that in the majority of the cases, company employees and relatives of their owners bought American dollars.

“This is how they [companies] crossed the [foreign exchange buying] limit,” he said.

Official sources said that dollar purchases in the last 10 years to the value of 14.97 million were questionable.

The documents available with Dawn read that the three companies booked by the FIA had purchased a total of 4.9 million US dollars, including $3.52 million by the Shahzad Enterprises,$0.985 million purchased by the Junaid Enterprises and $0.344 million by the Yousaf Rehman Enterprises.

Employees of the Junaid Enterprises and Yousaf Rehman also bought dollars.

Staff members of the Shahzad Enterprises, including drivers, clerks, munshi, partners, and the owners’ relatives, who also work at the company, were also among dollar buyers, according to Mr Niazi.

He said employees of the Junaid Enterprises and Yousaf Rehman Enterprises also bought American dollars.

The documents also named the other companies being probed by the FIA and the amount of dollar notes allegedly bought by them in the last 10 years.

They revealed that the dollar purchases by the Zeeshan Enterprises totalled 4.48 million, by the KK Traders 1.47 million, by the Shah Enterprises $1.1 million, by Ali Hussain Enterprises $589,583, by the Saeed Enterprises $0.861 million, by the Watan Traders $10,000, by the

Food Dulce Industry $0.323 million, by the Prime Tech $0.282 million, by the Saad Enterprises $0.553 million and by the Future Vision Marketing $0.288 million.

Also, Mohammad Ismail Shah and Ilham Khan Wazir purchased $333,780 and $49,900 dollar notes, respectively.

On Dec 19, the Commercial Banking Circle of the FIA’s KP Zone recovered $0.1 million foreign currency notes in a raid in the Chowk Yadgar area of the provincial capital and arrested Irfanullah alleging that he was a “gang’s member.”

Two days later, the agency sealed four commercial plazas in the same area claiming the action was part of a crackdown on the illegal money exchange business of hundi and hawala to check the smuggling of American dollars out of the country.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2022

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