PESHAWAR/DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested two people over the illegal hundi-hawala trade and recovered Rs10.031 million cash from their possession, officials said on Friday.
They told Dawn that Sher Zaman and Mohammad Saleem were taken into custody by a team of the FIA’s Commercial Banking Circle during a raid in Nowshera district as intelligence reports disclosed their involvement in the illegal forex trade.
“The raid was conducted by a CBC team, which arrested two hundi-hawala dealers and seized Rs10.031 million currency notes. They failed to disclose the origin of the amount of money in their possession,” an FIA official said.
He added that the two men were booked under the Foreign Exchange Regulations Act, 1947.
Official says detainees failed to disclose origin of money in their possession
The official said that the hundi-hawala receipts were also recovered during the raid, while the office used for the illegal forex trade was sealed.
On Thursday, the FIA’s CBC, as part of a crackdown on illegal currency trade and smuggling of US dollars, raided multiple shops in Peshawar’s Chowk Yadgar area, the province’s largest currency market and closed them.
FIA deputy director Afzal Khan Niazi said that more than 45 shops were closed in the “hub of illegal currency business” in the provincial capital.
He said that the crackdown on illegal forex trade was launched by the FIA, whose team was accompanied by the personnel of police and other law-enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency arrested five people over involvement in the illegal hundi-hawala trade during raids in the Dera Ismail Khan region last month.
It also seized millions of rupees during those raids, according to FIA deputy director in Dera Ismail Khan region Abdul Hai Babar.
He told reporters that the FIA had intensified a clampdown on hundi-hawala in the region on the special instructions of its provincial director, Nisar Ahmad Khan, as the illegal forex trade caused heavy loss to the exchequer.
Mr Babar said that cases had been registered against the arrested men.
He said the FIA, in response to another complaint about hundi-hawala, raided a hotel in the region and arrested a man over the recovery of Rs950,000 amount and receipts of the illegal trade.
The official said that the FIA, in other raids, seized Rs170,000 cash and cheque books of different banks and booked illegal forex traders.
He also said the agency, acting on the complaint of power theft at commercial level, removed illegal electricity connections from guesthouses and bakeries with the help of a Pesco team.
Mr Babar said all power thieves were also taken into custody and booked.
Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2023