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20 ‘suspicious’ banks accounts attached on request of Federal Board of Revenue

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A local court in Karachi on Wednesday ordered the attachment of 20 bank accounts suspected of having been used in three cases involving the illicit transfer of foreign exchange, money laundering and benami accounts.

Acting on an application submitted by the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) Karachi, the court ordered that the accounts be attached for a period of 30 days.

According to the application, the bureau fears that money will be withdrawn from these accounts, which FBR said had already conducted transactions “worth billions of rupees”. It said that in order to secure national revenue, the bank accounts in all three cases should be attached.

The attached bank accounts include those belonging to a family from Karachi — Pervez Ali, his daughters Sara and Anum, and son Jibran — who had transferred over $400,000 abroad. A case has been registered against them.

In the application, the investigating officer (IO) said that the family had opened eleven bank accounts in 2016 for the purpose of money laundering. He added that they had transferred a total of $494,500 so far.

The accounts attached on Wednesday also include one held by a resident of Bhutto Colony, Muhammad Ibrahim. As per the IO, money was transferred to the account from July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2018. Over the course of three years, a total of Rs454 million were deposited in the account.

Additionally, eight benami accounts which were used for transactions of over Rs8 billion are also included in the attached accounts.

Four traders were accused of tax theft of over Rs1.26bn over the course of five years.

According to the IO, one of the suspects, Zor Talib Khan, who is the proprietor of Salar Enterprise and Salar Mining, had opened six benami accounts from 2012 to 2017.

The investigation officer told the court that benami accounts were used for the business of paint shops, transporters, oil and spare parts.