Khanani and Kalia directors acquitted

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An additional district and sessions court on Tuesday acquitted the Khanani and Kalia (K&K) directors of charges of illegal foreign currency transactions worth billions of rupees.

The FIA had booked Hanif S Kalia, Abdul Munaf Kalia, Javed Khanani, Altaf Khanani, Atif Aziz Polani, Abdul Aziz Polani, Javed Qasim, Amir Zakaria, Iqbal Kasbati after the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) accused them of illegal transactions and running parallel banking in 2008.

According to the FIA, the defendants indulged in huge money transfers in collusion with different forex exchange companies, moneychangers and businessmen.

The legal action was taken during the previous PPP government after the flight of capital put pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserve.

The K&K directors were charged also with fraudulently creating a website to carry out monetary transfers from and to Pakistan in a clandestine manner.

They also allegedly set up offices outside the country and appointed Atif Polani and Javed Qasim as focal persons to execute such transactions.

They were further accused of receiving amounts from overseas Pakistanis through foreign exchange companies for remitting, but instead of transferring the money to Pakistan through SBP-authorised banks they either kept the money abroad or transferred it to foreign currency accounts to conceal the remittance.

The prosecution alleged that the defendants did not sell or declare the money to the SBP, while an equivalent amount payable against the remittances was distributed in Pakistan to recipients, depriving the national exchequer of foreign exchange and remittances to the tune of billions of rupees.

The K&K directors were also charged with manipulating foreign exchange in favour of foreign companies as Hawala transfers at the behest of businessmen to generate the under-invoiced amount required to be paid illegally to foreign exporters to evade the import duty and taxes.

Their counsel, Shaukat H Zubedi and Hummal Zubedi, submitted that the banking court had already acquitted their clients of similar charges and they could not be retried.

The sessions court acquitted the directors and ordered their release them if not involved in any other case.

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