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FBR registers 119 complaints under Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010

December 24, 2020

ISLAMABAD: In its bid to comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conditions, the FBR has so far registered 119 total complaints (FIRs) under the Anti Money Laundering (AML) Act 2010, involving revenues of more than Rs88.4 billion. The FBR has so far recovered Rs6.22 billion tax amount under this head.

In this process, 66 immovable properties and 203 bank accounts have been provisionally attached with the prior permission of the court under the provisions of AMLA 2010 and the cases are under trial in various courts of Special Judge Customs and Taxation, throughout the country.

The FBR’s Directorate General Intelligence and Investigation-IR is also a Law Enforcement Agency under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010. From 2016 to 2019, only 32 complaints (FIRs) were lodged under AMLA, 2010. Realizing the importance of the matter and to curb the menace caused by the proceeds of crime from money laundering, the Director General I&I-IR has directed all the seven directorates of I&I-IR to take strict cognizance of money laundering without any exception but purely on merit. This drive has also produced good results and by the end of October 2020, the total number of complaints (FIRs) registered under AMLA 2010 have reached 119 so far.

According to an official announcement made by the FBR, the Directorate General Intelligence and Investigation (Inland Revenue) has intensified the countrywide action against tax-evaders and fraudsters (individuals, AOPs and corporate entities) involved in evasion of sales tax, income tax and Federal Excise Duty. In this regard, Directorates of Intelligence and Investigation (Inland Revenue) have expedited the crackdown against tax fraudsters based on credible evidence and following due process of law based on legal provisions laid down in various tax statutes.

The Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation-IR, Islamabad, detected a big case of sales tax evasion. As per the intelligence gathering, one of the Islamabad based plywood manufacturing units was involved in evasion of sales tax by suppressing its taxable supplies in monthly sales tax returns. Pursuant upon the information and in order to safeguard the public revenue, a raid was conducted and premises of the said unit were searched under Section 38 and 40 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990. During the search, various record including invoices, receipt book, CPUs have been impounded and its scrutiny is underway. Furthermore, two raids were conducted by the Islamabad Directorate on 22nd December against two un-registered businesses located in Chakwal involved in huge tax evasion. Record has been impounded and its scrutiny is underway. It is expected that quantum of tax involved will be in hundreds of millions in the three raids conducted by the Islamabad Directorate.

A campaign against smuggled, duty non-paid/illicit and counterfeit cigarettes, in compliance of the FBR’s special directives dated 11th December, 2020, to “deploy maximum resources for control of the menace of illegal and injurious cigarettes”, the Inland Revenue Intelligence & Investigation (I&I-IR) Directorate, Faisalabad, has seized 426 cartons (4,260,000 sticks) from traders in Faisalabad and Sargodha, by conducting three different actions in exercise of powers under Section 38 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 and Rule 62 to 67 of the Federal Excise Rules, 2005. The seized consignments are prima facie counterfeited/non-duty paid and are accordingly taken into custody in the presence of proprietors and the representatives of local Press Club. Estimated tax and duties evaded on the recovered merchandise in all three cases may run in multi-million Rupees.

The Directorate I&I-IR, Peshawar, having jurisdiction over KPK Province, has taken multiple actions against trade of counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes. The surveillance squad of Peshawar Directorate intercepted a truck in Swabi and recovered from it 20 cartons of filter rods having no relevant documents in support of payment of excise duty and taxes. On further inquiry, the team raided godown from where the filter rods were loaded in the truck and 19 more cartons of filter rods were confiscated for lack of having documentary evidence of payment of duty/taxes. A total of 39 cartons of non-duty paid filter rods were recovered which are sufficient for production of 9,126,000 sticks of cigarettes (913 cartons) with anticipated duty/tax evasion of more than Rs25,000,000 in addition to evasion of duty of Rs1,521,000 being payable at clearance stage. In another action, more than 50 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes were confiscated from two passenger vehicles in Peshawar.

The Directorate I&I-IR, Multan, also conducted raids on two PVC manufacturers and successfully retrieved ample record and other documents. These units are involved in massive evasion of taxes by way of concealment of production/ issuance of flying invoices and incurred substantial loss of revenue to government exchequer. In an action against illicit non-duty paid tobacco trade, the Directorate I&I-IR, Multan, has also seized 200,000 counterfeit/non-duty paid cigarettes and detained the stock, under Section 38 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 and Rule 62 to 67 of the Federal Excise Rules, 2005.

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