ASIM QADEER RANAISLAMABAD - The federal investigation agencies are investigating dozens of banking accounts of well-known politicians, bureaucrats and others over suspected money laundering linkages.“The State Bank of Pakistan has the mandate to forward its concerns related to suspicious accounts in all the banks it regulates and so far the number of accounts (that may have been used to launder money) have reached near 70,” an source privy to investigations revealed requesting anonymity.Following the electoral process, the source confided that many political figures may face action once the information regarding money laundering gets matured. He did not reveal the names of politicians and other top entities saying the suspects could manage to flee the country. However, he said the names of the accused would be made public as soon as the probe is completed.The source informed that SBP has a mechanism to track suspicious accounts and the ‘Financial Monitoring Unit’ – an independent organ based in Karachi – looks after such accounts and forward its enquires to the financial regulator.“The SBP has marked dozens of enquires to civic investigation agencies – Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau and the Anti-Narcotics Force” he said. “The investigation has been in process against the accused money launderers as the civil investigation agencies have received Suspicious Transaction Reports from the authorities concerned,” he added.“In several instances we have arrested individuals, presented their challan in the court but later the accused secured a bail leaving the investigators high and dry,” he remarked. He added that a strong Anti-Terrorism Act 1997’s clause relating to financial terrorism is the only cover for them that enable them to detain only those individuals who are involved in terrorism funding. He said that once a money laundering accused secures bail from a court the banks often refuse to share the details with civil investigation agencies citing court directions.The FIA’s financial crime wing and several other units of the agency, he said, were keeping a check over the donations gathered by little known non-governmental bodies so as to curb money laundering and even terrorism financing under the guise of donations. The official warned that citizens should refrain from donating or dropping money in boxes placed at local shops without confirming for what purpose the money is actually being collected and who is collecting it.