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Friday Jan 31 2020
By
Web Desk

FBR unearths massive money laundering scam in Peshawar: report

By
Web Desk
Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue on Thursday unearthed one of the largest alleged money laundering and terror financing operations based out of Pakistan in which one of the accused possessed over six billion rupees in different bank accounts but barely paid any taxes.

According to a report published in The News, FBR Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation in Peshawar moved the application seeking information against multiple bank accounts owned by the accused, identified as Waqas Ahmed, who paid only Rs84 in taxes last year. 

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After completing investigations into the case, the revenue authority moved against the accused and identified seven accounts owned by him in different banks across Peshawar. The numbers of these accounts were also released by The News in its report for purposes of transparency. 

According to the investigating officer in the case, the said accounts were used to evade taxes on the one hand, but on the other, could also be means to hide proceeds from criminal activities. However, the officer did not identify the criminal activity that the accused was involved in.  

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The News reported that the investigation into the case seems to confirm the suspicions of the officer as there is clear evidence of tax evasion, but allegations of terror financing or money laundering may also be true since there is no money trail for the amount present in the accounts. 

Therefore, for the purpose of proper investigation of the said accounts, the Special Court of Taxation ordered to attach and freeze the accounts provisionally u/s 8(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 for the period of 90 days, the publication reported. 

Also read: FBR officers reject proposal to restructure board as autonomous body: report

Drive against tax evasion

In a separate case, the FBR Directorate in Lahore raided the manufacturing/business premises of Qaswar Mehmood, an unregistered unit of plastic products in Lahore, on Thursday. The raid was conducted because Mehmood was suspected of evading sales tax. 

According to The News, Qaswar Mehmood has not paid estimated sales tax amounting to Rs30 million against taxable supplies valuing Rs180 million for the tax periods from Dec 2018 to Nov 2019, calculated on the basis of electricity bill amounting to Rs21 million during this period. 

The taxpayer, the publication claimed, had deliberately, knowingly, dishonestly and fraudulently evaded sales tax amounting to Rs30 million approximately. During the search, records from the premises were seized and further investigation in this regard is underway.

Originally published in The News