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FBR seeks records of 13 companies in Rs35b money-laundering cases

FBR seeks records of 13 companies in Rs35b money-laundering cases

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is reportedly investigating the money-laundering cases worth Rs35 billion against 13 companies including Omni and Zardari Group.

Sources said that the FBR has contacted State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in order to provide details of Summit Bank’s equity and names of CEOs of all beneficiary firms.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan SCP has taken suo motu notice against alleged money laundering when as much as 29 fake accounts were opened in three different banks including United Bank, Sindh Bank, and Summit Bank. After this Suo Motu notice by SCP, the federal agency got hot on heels to find the details of the alleged money laundering case.

According to FIA, the money was transferred to the accounts of the companies based in UAE and owned by a UAE national Nasser Abdullah Hussain Lootah, he is also the chairman of the Summit Bank.

According to the sources, Lootah is the major beneficiary of these illegal transactions as Rs7 billion were transferred to his account, Lootah also holds 58% of shares in Summit bank.

Lootah was required to submit Rs17 billion in equity, and Rs7 billion was transferred to his accounts indicates that the money was transferred for this purpose. On the orders of Supreme Count Rs.7 billion has now been frozen, preventing to become available for bank equity.

As Lootah is a foreign national he was supposed to bring money from abroad and submit as bank equity, FBR has also looked for clarification from SBP, whether a foreign national can maintain the equity locally according to the law and SBP’s policy or not.

FIA has also approached SECP to provide details of CEOs and account holders of the beneficiary firms during the time when these dubious transactions were made, FBR would issue notices to them according to the apex court in order to accelerate the investigation process.