Pakistani ice-cream vendor has Rs2b in account

Karachi-based Abdul Qadir wasn’t aware of the large deposit, which authorities blame on money laundering

Islamabad: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan is investigating a transfer of more than Rs2 billion (Dh59.6 million) into the account of a Karachi-based ice-cream vendor.

The amount was moved into the account of Abdul Qadir from a unidentified account. The FIA says the case was only the tip of the iceberg.

A senior official of the agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the case appeared to have links with the ongoing investigation launched into a high-profile money-laundering case.

“There are more than 500 such accounts across the country in which billions of rupees are deposited without the knowledge of the account holders,” the official said.

“There are many people like Abdul Qadir who do not know about the existence of accounts in their names with hefty amounts,” he said, adding that accounts have been opened in the names of people belonging to the lower strata such as vendors, labourers, security guards and low-income employees of private companies.

It all started when Qadir, a resident of Karachi’s Orangi Town, received a summons by the FIA in which he was required to explain how he got Rs2.25 billion transferred to his account and the sources.

In interviews to various TV channels, Qadir insisted that he had no connection with money laundering and had no idea that such a huge amount was lying unspent in his account.

“I am the most unlucky man in the world who did not know the presence of a huge amount in my account and now when I have come to know about it, it will no longer be there,” said a visibly frustrated Qadir while talking to the media.

Previously, in a separate case, FIA found Rs8 billion in the bank account of a Karachi man, a sum he knew nothing about.

According to sources, Adnan Javed had deposited Rs5,000 to open three accounts under the title of a company, Lucky International, two years ago but he never checked his account balance.

Later, he learned through the FIA that around Rs8 billion was deposited into his accounts by unidentified depositors.

More than 20 ‘benami’ accounts were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 out of which transactions worth billions of rupees were made, he said.

The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.

Despite these huge transactions, the bank officials never reported them to the authorities concerned, including the FIA.


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