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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

FIA seizes local, foreign currencies worth billions in Rawalpindi plaza raid

Raid part of nationwide operation against illicit trading activities.
FIA surveilled location for a week before initiating raid.
Plaza owner insisted authorities leave recovered money on site.

RAWALPINDI: The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Commercial Banking Circle conducted a successful raid, uncovering a whopping amount of foreign and local currency, totalling billions of rupees, at an under-construction residential property in Shamsabad.

The raid is a part of the nationwide operation against hundi and hawala businesses by exchange companies.

This operation was followed by meticulous evidence collection regarding illicit trading activities. A subsequent raid in Rawalpindi targeted a house, leading to the seizure of 13 computerised iron lockers consisting of substantial sums of foreign and local currency in cash. Two individuals were apprehended in connection with these operations.

The FIA wing conducting the raid surveilled the location for a week before beginning their operation. A small iron gate was found in the parking area of the double basement of the plaza. Spare construction equipment was also kept there.

The agency’s team crashed the outer walls and heard a booming sound, which proved an empty space behind. On breaking the wall, they found a small secret door behind which lay 13 large iron lockers. Security systems and cameras were also installed on the premises. According to reports, the FIA team and the plaza owner engaged in a bitter tiff over the uncovered money.

The plaza owner insisted that the authorities leave the money on site, while the FIA team said the recovered money would be seized.

Later, the FIA called the police for assistance. A preliminary report has been sent to the higher authorities, said the agency. When the plaza owner Sheikh Iftikhar Adil was contacted and asked about the seizure of the money, he said no bank was operating on the premises, it was reported.

He said the money saved in the lockers was business transaction about which a money trail had been provided to FIA. He also denied that any foreign currency was recovered from the lockers.

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