ISLAMABAD: FBR has succeeded in winning the first ever case of conviction for the offence of money laundering based on massive tax evasion. The Directorate General I & I-IR had received financial intelligence in respect of Habibullah proprietor of M/s Rai Trading Company, Bajaur, KP wherein it was disclosed that the quantum of transactions (Cash & Bank) did not match with the suspect’s business profile.
Initial investigations were conducted by the Directorate Intelligence & Investigation, Inland Revenue Service under tax laws which unearthed six other bank accounts with huge transactions. Total proceeds in all the bank accounts were found to be Rs.2,090 million whereas the suspect paid only tax of Rs.192,877 for the tax year-2015. The suspect was involved in huge concealment of income, undeclared bank accounts and mis-declaration/inaccurate particulars to hoodwink the tax authorities.
A detailed scrutiny also revealed element of money laundering, therefore, investigations were initiated for the offence of money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering Act-2010 (AMLA).
With the prior approval of the Concerned Court, bank accounts were provisionally attached under section 8 of the AMLA 2010. On completion of investigations under Section-9 of AMLA 2010, final challan under AMLA-2010 along with the complaint under Section- 203 of the Income Tax Ordinance (ITO), 2001 for the offence of money laundering and tax offence respectively were submitted in the Court.
The prayers of the department before the court included punishment for both tax evasion and offence of money laundering and forfeiture of the proceeds. The trial proceedings concluded on 30th November, 2021 resulting into conviction of the accused under Section 4 of AMLA 2010 thus leading to 02 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5 lakh. In addition to this, the accused was also convicted under Section 192 -A of the ITO, 2001 with a simple imprisonment of 01 year and a fine of Rs. one lakh. Furthermore, the court forfeited the proceeds of crime amounting to Rs2090.4 million.
Advisor to PM on Finance & Revenue Shaukat Tarin and Chairman FBR/Secretary Revenue Division, Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed have commended the outstanding performance of Directorate of I & I-IR and congratulated them on this importance success.
This is by all means a great success of FBR in its ongoing drive against tax evasion and money laundering and will pave the way for more convictions of various cases under investigation with the department as well as awaiting the conclusion of trial proceedings in the relevant courts of law.
Needless to add that FBR is following a policy of zero tolerance against tax evasion and has introduced a number of innovative interventions both at policy and operational level to ensure a culture of tax compliance in the country.