Dr Arsalan used CJP House’s address for commercial deals
LAHORE: According to reliable sources, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry was using the official address of Chief Justice House, Islamabad, for commercial purposes.
He was even using this address for his company with the name and style F.E.A. (Pvt) Ltd. Huge amounts, reportedly over Rs 300 million, were deposited in the account of this company owned by Arsalan Iftikhar with the correspondence address of Chief Justice House. It is a matter of concern that how an account could be opened in the name of a private limited company with the address of Chief Justice House.
This is a clear violation of Know Your Customers (KYC) instructions of the State Bank of Pakistan, which are required to be religiously followed by all banks and financial institutions of the country. Legally and morally, it cannot be comprehended as to how the official residence of the Chief Justice of Pakistan can be used for commercial deals.
The huge amounts which reportedly were credited as a matter of routine since 2009 in the accounts of Arsalan Iftikhar also raises the question as to why not a single Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) was ever generated.
Bankers are under a legal obligation to report all unusual or large transactions to NAB as well as Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) of the State Bank of Pakistan, which deal with anti-money laundering matters.
Under ordinary circumstances, it is the normal practice for the banks to immediately report to the State Bank of Pakistan any transaction that is not commensurate with the financial status of the account holder. In the Arsalan Iftikhar case, it has been widely reported that the present net worth of the Chief Justice’s son is Rs 900 million. It is however relevant to note that until 2007, he was merely a Grade-17 government officer who was totally dependent on his salary or his father. However, no report was ever sent to the State Bank of Pakistan about the sudden surge and accretion in Arsalan Iftikhar’s accounts. This was indeed a phenomenal growth and extremely rare.
This non-reporting can either be considered as a great favour to Arsalan by the bankers or they were afraid because the address given for these accounts was the official residence of the Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Against this backdrop, a new case is likely to emerge under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 unless the State Bank, FIA, NAB and other agencies opt to keep their eyes shut for obvious reasons. Whether or not the Supreme Court of Pakistan will take suo motu notice of such acts of Arsalan will be seen in the coming days, especially when the criminal inquiry against him has come to a grinding halt on the orders of the apex court. The bankers nevertheless have violated anti-money laundering laws and may now face penal consequences for ignoring Arsalan’s accounts. Will anyone touch Arsalan? Only the Supreme Court can tell.
Courtesy: Daily Times