The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) confirmed on Wednesday that over-invoicing to the tune of Rs. 70 billion in the guise of import of solar panels.
Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, FBR officials said that money laundering has been proven in the said case.
FBR officials said that 63 importers were involved in the scam and a first information report has been registered against two major importers under the anti-money laundering act.
The officials said that money was sent abroad through five commercial banks. The officials said that under the anti-money laundering and terror financing law, the laundered money can be brought back to Pakistan as the UAE has an agreement with Pakistan in this regard.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officials informed the committee that action had been taken against bank officials involved in the scam.
Senator Musadik Malik said that Rs. 70 billion seems like a small figure and the actual money laundering may be to the tune of $2.5 billion.
The committee asked FBR to submit a report regarding action taken against government and bank officials involved in the case. FBR officials further told the committee that they have submitted a request to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to put the names of certain people involved in the scam on the exit control list (ECL).
It is pertinent to mention here that an audit conducted by Directorate of Post Clearance Audit Customs South uncovered over invoicing worth almost Rs. 70 billion at the import level.
According to the audit report, 63 importers filed 6,232 goods declarations and imported solar panels at prices significantly higher than their market value. A substantial portion of the funds used for these imports were suspected to be illegal money transferred out of the country.