Rawalpindi, September 18, 2023 – In a major crackdown on illegal currency trading, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Commercial Banking Circle carried out a successful operation in Shamsabad, Rawalpindi, resulting in the seizure of a substantial amount of both foreign and local currencies, amounting to billions of rupees. This operation is part of the nationwide effort to combat hundi and hawala businesses operated by exchange companies.
The FIA’s operation was conducted following extensive evidence collection related to illicit trading activities. Subsequently, a targeted raid was carried out at an under-construction residential property in Rawalpindi, leading to the discovery of 13 computerized iron lockers containing significant sums of cash in both foreign and local currencies. Two individuals were detained in connection with these operations.
Prior to the raid, the FIA’s team had conducted surveillance on the location for a week. During their investigation, they identified a small iron gate in the parking area of the plaza’s double basement, which also housed spare construction equipment. Upon breaching the outer walls, a concealed space was uncovered, housing 13 large iron lockers. Security systems and surveillance cameras were found installed on the premises. Notably, reports indicate that a dispute arose between the FIA team and the plaza owner over the seized money.
The plaza owner, Sheikh Iftikhar Adil, reportedly urged authorities to leave the money on-site, claiming that it was related to legitimate business transactions for which a money trail had been provided to the FIA. He also denied the presence of any foreign currency within the lockers and maintained that no bank operations were being conducted at the location.
However, in response to the escalating situation, the FIA called in the local police for assistance. A preliminary report has been submitted to higher authorities, according to the agency.
This operation signifies a significant development in the ongoing efforts to curb illegal currency trading in Pakistan. The FIA’s relentless pursuit of individuals and businesses engaged in hundi and hawala operations reflects the government’s commitment to eradicating financial irregularities and enforcing strict measures against money laundering.
The investigation is expected to continue, with authorities scrutinizing the money trail and thoroughly examining the seized currency. The outcome of this operation will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications in the fight against illegal financial activities in the region.