ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sent letters to over 100 influential Pakistanis who had invested in real estate business in Dubai.
The officials of the FIA, informed the Sub-Committee of Finance of National Assembly, which met here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Dr. Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharal at the Parliament House.
The committee was told that cases of some hundreds of Pakistani citizens are being investigated by the FIA to trace the money trail of these persons who bought property in Dubai.
During the meeting FIA has also pledged to share the lists of these persons with FBR, NAB and other organizations.
The FIA officials said only few of these 100 influential Pakistanis have responded to the letters written to them by the FIA therefore, there is a need to cooperate among all other departments to further initiate probe against them.
The meeting of the Sub-Committee was held and it was also attended by Asad Umar and Isphanyar M. Bhandara besides representatives from Federal Board of Revenue, Security Exchange of Pakistan, Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau and other officials.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) representatives told the meeting they had been writing to officials in Dubai to provide the details of those Pakistanis who invested in property but so far failed to receive any response from them.
MNA Asad Umar took notice of lack of interest by all the investigating agencies of Pakistan to take action against those who purchased property in Dubai and did not inform the State Bank of Pakistan. He suggested that the Prime Minister himself should written letter to the UAE government in this regard and sough the details for further action against those Pakistanis. He said NAB should be given free hand to take the matter as FBR and FIA has so far failed to take any action against those Pakistanis who indulged in money laundering and purchased property in Dubai.
MNA Isphanyar M. Bhandara suggested huge investment in property in Pakistan should also be investigated.
The FIA representatives on the query of members of the committee said the agency’s anti-corruption circle registered cases and initiated inquiries against four individuals, out of 100, in 2015 over alleged illegal funds transfer, but admitted that still today there has been no progress on these cases.
However, the FIA did not share the list of these 100 Pakistanis with the members of the Sub-Committee today and assured to provide the list to the committee secretariat.
The FIA officials said that they wrote a letter to the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai, along with the list of individuals who purchased properties in the UAE and requested for getting official verification of ownership of these properties, but till date no response was received from the consulate.
The Sub-Committee was informed that the State Bank of Pakistan has already clarified that no Pakistani citizen can buy any property abroad without declaring it to the State Bank of Pakistan and so far not a single Pakistani declared purchase of any property outside Pakistan.
The FIA also informed the members of the Committee that fresh notices have been sent to 100 individuals and 23 of them admitted to having property in Dubai but no further action has been taken against them as there is ambiguity in the 1972 Foreign Asset Declaration Act which needs further clarification from the Law Division. The Pakistani have purchased the properties in different posh areas of Dubai.
According to reports, more than $8 billion had been invested by some of the Pakistanis in property market in Dubai. The FBR, however, admitted that so far there has been so success to determine names of the people who invested their money in the United Arab Emirates.
The committee was not satisfied with the performance of FBR and FIA therefore, demanded the government to direct the NAB to take up the case of those Pakistanis who had invested over $* billion in Dubai as it is a clear indication of money laundering because SBP has no record of any property purchased by any Pakistani in Duabi.