FIA cracks down on Hawala business, recovers Rs25mn

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PESHAWAR: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Sunday arrested over 25 persons and recovered foreign currency worth Rs25 million in an operation against the illegal business of Hawala/Hundi.

FIA Director General Bashir Ahmed Memon has said that some foreign nationals are among those arrested from Karkhano Market and Chowk Yadgar for involvement in the transfer of money through illegal channels.

A heavy contingent of the police force was deployed during the operation. Over 50 shops were sealed while the raid was under way. The FIA director general said that continued operations of the hundi business were not possible without the involvement of some officials.

Last month, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gave Pakistan 15 months to comply with its requirements, with the deadline set to expire in September 2019. At least 27 deficiencies were identified by the FATF pertaining to currency smuggling, hawala, and ‘terror’ financing of proscribed outfits. A National Action Committee was accordingly formed to deal with the issue.