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Money Laundering: Details Worth $5.3bn Received From 10 Countries, Says Akbar

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LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)–  A senior government representative disclosed Monday the government has received details from 10 countries of money laundering valuing Rs700 billion ($5.3 bn)  and that it intends to field references in this regard soon.

Speaking to reporters in Islamabad along with Senator Faisal Javed and Adviser to PM on Media Iftikhar Durrani, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said, “We have identified over 5,000 fake accounts which were used for money laundering.”

Stunning the nation further, he disclosed money laundered through these accounts exceeded $1,000 billion,” he said while adding that the accounts were created in the names of ice cream vendors and rickshaw drivers.

“Previous leaders issued iqamas to conceal the amount that was laundered out of the country,” the special assistant to the premier continued.

Akbar shared, “We are seeking details of all iqama holders from Dubai administration.

“Those who have stashed money in Dubai and European banks will not be able to hide,” the premier’s special assistant further warned.

Stating that they have received details pertaining to money laundering from 10 countries, the premier’s special assistant said, “$5.3 billion were taken out of Pakistan. This amount translates to Rs700 billion and is a small fraction of the total amount laundered.”

“The matter of fake accounts is ongoing in the Supreme Court and the court has ordered that it should not be discussed on air,” he added.

Further, Akbar said, “A list of suspects will be released soon, however, it cannot be shared before a decision is taken regarding filing references.”

Elaborating on the iqamas issued by previous leaders, Akbar said, “There are two kinds of iqama holders — one kind is labourers and those who work hard and the other is ministers whose details are hard to find.”

The premier’s special assistant on accountability added, “The hardest part is identifying the real suspects as those who hold iqamas hide their identities.”

“Some people have bought properties in the names of their drivers and gardeners. When we investigate, we find out that they are the employees of big people,” he said.

Akbar said, “These findings are from investigations over the last 70 days and focused on 10 countries. Money laundering has destroyed Pakistan.”

“We would have been an economically stable country had there been no money laundering,” he regretted.

Properties worth $15 billion bought in Dubai alone

Also speaking to the media, Durrani said, “Properties worth $15 billion were bought in Dubai alone.”

“NAB, FBR, SECP and other institutions are working within their framework. We have not filed cases against anyone and if we do then we will inform first,” he added.

The premier’s special assistant on media further said, “No matter what anyone says, the process of accountability will continue. The asset recovery unit is also working and has not registered any cases as yet.”