Rawalpindi-The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday busted two companies allegedly involved in illegal transfer of money during a raid at Mall Plaza and seized foreign currency worth Rs100 million.

FIA officials also took five persons into custody and shifted them to police station for further investigation.

According to details, FIA, while acting on a police report prepared and dispatched by Superintendent of Police (SP) Potohar Division Syed Ali and SHO PS Cantt Raja Aizaz Azim via CPO Muhammad Ahsan Younas, carried out raids at Universal (Ali) Currency Exchange and Faizan Travel and Tours and recovered more than Rs100 million worth foreign currency. FIA also took five money changers into custody and shifted them to police station for further investigation. However, the owner of Ali Currency Exchange Sheikh Iqbal managed to escape from the scene. They added Sheikh Iqbal is part of a five-member gang involved in laundering of Rs1 billion per month in Mall Plaza.

The Mall Plaza has become a hub for illegal money transfer and laundering in the city, a crime about which Rawalpindi police officers alerted FIA. They said the report prepared by SP Syed Ali and SI Raja Aizaz mentioned that there were 34 foreign currency/money exchang shops in Mall Plaza. Huge transactions are made on daily basis while police have made foolproof security arrangements.

The report also said that it was learnt that limit of amount with aforementioned money changers exceed from any bank of A category.

As per security policy of banks of category A, all they banks are bound for installation of CCTV cameras, keeping security guards, and erecting protective gates and alarm system in order to strengthen security measures. But all the money changer shops are lacking the necessary arrangements meant for foolproof security measures.

SHO Cantt SI Raja Aizaz also mentioned in report that several money changers are involved in illegal money transfer by sitting in cars outside Mall Plaza in order to dodge State Bank of Pakistan and to evade the tax system.

Taking action of Rawalpindi police report, the FIA raided two money exchange companies and seized illegal currency worth over Rs100 million. Five arrests were also made by FIA.