The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has discovered 30 fake bank (benami) accounts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which have been used in transactions of billions of rupees.
FIA KP division’s Director, Mir Wais Khan told the media that most of these accounts were found in the remote areas of the northern province like Besham and Swat.He said
“We have recently completed inquiries into the benami accounts and are now going to register FIRs against the account holders,” .
Although the FIA director did not divulge the exact amount of transactions that were made through these accounts, he told that the agency has formed several teams to investigate these accounts.
He further stated that certain influential personalities were behind these accounts and had opened them in the names of their servants.
The FIA director also said that the motive behind opening the benami accounts is mostly money laundering, as no transaction has been made through these accounts for business purposes.
He also said that FIRs will be registered against those involved in illegal transactions after which the agency shall necessary action against them.
Mir Wais further told the media that 17 of 30 accounts have shown transactions of hefty amounts. Reportedly, a media report has quoted FIA Deputy Director Tariq Pervez stating that Rs. 10 billion worth of transactions have been made through these accounts.
Pervez is further quoted to have said that the accounts were under the names of eight domestic workers whose monthly income totaled between Rs.12,000 – Rs.15,000. Moreover, these accounts belonged to the banks in Kalam, Swat, Basham, and Buner.
According to another official, some of these servants didn’t even know about the opening of accounts under their names. He said that the agency was conducting raids in different areas, including a residence in Peshawar cantonment and claimed that the FIA managed to recover documents which led to the discovery of the benami accounts.
Notably, the FIA has launched a crackdown on fake bank accounts while implementing the Supreme Court’s order in this regard.