ISLAMABAD - Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday claimed that it had recovered Rs1273.6 million during 2021 in cases involving money laundering and other financial crimes.

FIA also said that it registered as many as 335 cases of money laundering, and illegal currency, Hundi and Hawala business and arrested 422 accused in such cases during the last one year.

Addressing a press conference here at FIA Headquarters, Director FIA Islamabad Waqar Chauhan said that agency’s Director General Dr Sanaullah Abbasi had personally overseen the campaign against money laundering and other financial crimes over the last few months. He said that it was being ensured that all zones of the FIA should crack down heavily on money laundering and other such crimes. 

“FIA continues to take effective action against money laundering in light of National Risk Assessment (NRA) 2019 as well as other administrative, operational and legal measures of the government.”

In the month of December 2021 alone, 95 cases were registered against illegal currency dealers and persons involved in hawala hundi, he said. As many 127 accused were arrested and Rs 201 million in local currency and foreign currency of worth Rs 89 million were seized, he added.

Registered 335 cases of money laundering, illegal currency, Hundi and Hawala business

Out of the references sent by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), FIA registered as many 32 cases, arrested 32 accused, and 61 million Pakistani rupees and foreign currency of worth 31.61 million rupees were recovered in these cases.

Of the suspicious transactions made in banks and currency exchange companies, 271 cases were registered, Chauhan said

As part of its anti-corruption campaign, FIA had registered hundreds of FIRs, out of which 46 persons were found involved in money laundering during the investigation. More cases were registered under which an amount of Rs208 million had been seized, according to the details shared by director FIA in the presser.

On the basis of reports of the intelligence agencies, FIA registered 103 cases, 140 accused were arrested in these cases and domestic and foreign currency of worth 530 million rupees was recovered.

FIA Director said that the agency has enhanced cooperation with Interpol and other agencies with regard to the overseas properties involving financial crimes and arrest of suspects involved in such crimes. In this regard, more than 650 MLA (mutual legal assistance) requests have been sent to Interpol during this period, he added.

Throughout this campaign, constant liaison and cooperation has been maintained with the SBP’s Financial Monitoring Unit and other agencies, he noted.

Chauhan said that in the coming days, FIA will continue cracking down on these financial crimes, “which are hurting the national economy, and the efforts will be further intensified.”

All of the above actions were also required in the FATF Action Plan, he added.