FBR directs officials to give top priority to money laundering cases

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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue on Thursday directed its field officials to give top priority to money laundering cases in line with the government’s “Follow the Money” policy.

According to information, the All Pakistan Directors Conference (Intelligence & Investigation-IR) was held in Islamabad to discuss the performance and future work plan of regional Directorates of I&I-IR.

While presiding over the meeting, IR Director General Dr Bashirullah Khan Marwat emphasized the two pronged role of Intelligence & Investigation-IR as a spy arm of Federal Board of Revenue in detection of systemic tax evasions and as a Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) in pursuing cases of money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 (AMLA).

He stated that due to Covid-19, there was prolonged lockdown and slackness in the business but things have come to normalcy which now requires increased vigilance. 

The I&I-IR director general issued directions to keep strict vigilance on the sectors seemingly involved in high level of tax evasion with special focus on initiating cases of high net worth individuals. 

The chair praised the performance of the directorate regarding filing of ML cases worth billions in the competent courts of jurisdiction which has shown a phenomenal increase in the past few months. However, it was also instructed to initiate new investigations under AMLA 2010 against the persons openly flouting the laws of the land and take existing pending investigations in ML to their logical conclusion so as to achieve the desired targets and to meet the required compliance level of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) compliance. 

With regards to sales tax matter, it was decided in the meeting that the directorates will conduct different sectoral studies/analysis and the Directorate General will particularly focus on prosecution of the gangs/rackets involved in fake and flying invoices which is one of the cause of revenue leakage in the sales tax regime. 

Recently, the Directorates General had busted gangs operating in Faisalabad, Lahore & Karachi and arrested a number of persons. The suspects involved in these scams are being traced to retrieve the loss of revenue. 

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