Fake Bank Accounts in Pakistan

A few months back, every Pakistani news channel had breaking news which stated “A Falodey Wala has billion in his Bank Account.” 

This news caught an eye and every single channel, media reporters were in pursuit of that Guy, just after a couple of days, another breaking news was flashing on T.V screens that another person having Millions in his account while he is only meson or a daily wager, all the rumors died when that Guy came in front of camera and told the media that he had only few hundred rupees in his account so he has already withdrawal that amount while the excess amount did not belong to him that’s why excess amount is still in the account and now it’s Govt’s responsibility to track the amount. 

During this Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr Saqib Nisar, as usual, took suo motu and ordered the Investigation agencies for thoroughly checking, since the start of investigation till now FBR and FIA discovered more than 200 accounts having Billions of Pakistani rupees. But still not even a single culprit is being arrested, all the accounts are on the names of Common people, neither a single politician nor any businessman is arrested in this case, but as per current Govt response and statements, in respect of that only the blame is on politicians of the opposition parties, on discovery of every single account we only hear “Zardari ki Loot ka Paisa Hai”, it might be true but the matter of fact is that all these are baseless and without any evidence. If we thoroughly look into this matter, then we can check that this sort of financial transaction and bank accounts are active for long. 

As evidence of the above-written words, I want to share my personal experience, after graduation (B. Com) I had to complete a minimum 3 months Internship in accounts/finance department of any industry of business activity. Luckily I got a chance to work in a Soft drink manufacturing company’s finance department, where I was given the responsibility to work as a junior to prepare budgeting and Income statements /Balance Sheets. I was shocked when I discover that every time we have to prepare these statements almost 4 times every month with different figures. 

The answer which I received from my departmental manager was more shocking rather than discovering it. The answer was “Son actual fact figures show us the true picture which we only forward to entrepreneur, with slight changes forwarded to that bank from which we are seeking a loan, 3rd one in which the cost of raw material is same which we receive from our mother company but the only difference is the loss of raw material during the process, had to pay the Royalty, while 4th one in which company is showing loss will be forwarded to that bank through which we have already taken the loan, now are paying instalments”. After that, I have come to know that how to handle external audits as well as just to clear these balance sheets. 

As of my 2nd experience which I got during my job in a company one day a colleague was signing all the pages of his cheque book when I asked why he is doing this the answer was again shocking for me. According to him his account is in use of the company’s financial transactions, and in reply, the company pays him some percentage of that money which is being transferred through his account, he also advised me to do so but due to lack of confidence on this, I refused. 

After a couple of years when I move to another company on the managerial post I observe this process so closely, almost every employee of the accounts department has more than one account and all other accounts were ready to clean keep uncounted/unaudited money in them. And in this process, the managerial staff of banks also involved. All the commercial banks encourage their branch managers to increase their reserves and reply is in the shape of lucrative incentives. 

Now come to the point, FIA also discovered 4 Billion from a dead man’s account. More than 54 billion rupees transfer through these 107 fake accounts according to the FIA. 

Most interesting thing is that this thing got an eye when FBR issued notices to the accounts holders due to non-payment of tax on the amount resides in these accounts. Also, note that this FIA and FBR are in pursue of these accounts from the year 2016 and after keeping an eye on them they issued notices.  

In directions of SC, a JIT was formed which started her investigation from 2015, the year when more than seven individuals including Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur are alleged to use Summit, Sindh and UBL’s “Benami Accounts” for such suspicious transactions. But since October JIT is unable to extract the culprit. 

I must say that Pakistan has two parallel financial systems, one is on record while 2nd is not recorded money transactions which are called “CASH PER LAIN DAIN” “KALA DHAN or BLACK MONEY” and that unaudited system is more strong than legal register through FBR. For example, the majority of private firms distribute salaries in cash rather than through bank accounts just to avoid the tax deduction, and if they are bound to pay through banks then they pay only a nominal amount through banks while remaining of the money in Cash. More than 90% of fruit/vegetables and grain markets business is on cash which also helps the tax-free transactions. Another difficulty to bring all these transactions is a higher rate of taxes on each financial transaction, same as most of the manufacturing concerns and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies and whole sellers encourage to receive their amount in Cash rather than bank transactions.     

JIT head Ahsan Sadiq in his report said that several bank accounts used in suspicious transactions were opened for a brief period and were closed after the transfer of money. On the other hand, FIA is claiming that they crack out more than 200 accounts but astonishing thing is that none of any bankers is in custody or under investigation. 

If a common man tries to open a bank account he has to full fill a pile of documents requirements and after thorough scrutiny, he got his account, but in these fake account who was involved? where is the scrutiny department of all these banks? how a “FALODEY WALA” can open the account so easily and deposit BILLION in his account without verification?

I must say that 

If a dead man can open an account, then where is NADRA? Where was FIA when these fake accounts were open and these suspicious transactions were in the process? If we want to know the exact person who is behind these accounts its very simple to trace it, just investigate the branch and operation manager of that branch where these accounts are being open everything will be crystal clear. But who will do it? Because everyone is trying to find the needle from a pile of husk

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Hassam Durrani

Columnist, Analyst, Raabta.Net, Raabta,net/urdu, Daily Frontier Post, Daily Leader, Mera Sehar Lahore, President PFUC (Punjab Wing), YouTuber. Content Writer/ Producer Current Affair Programs at Channel 5, Daily Khabrain Group. News Associate Producer at 7 News (The Aspire Group)
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