FIA wants powers like NAB to obtain record

Dawn

ISLAMABAD: A senior official of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sought powers like National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in accessing the government’s records and data while carrying out investigations in money-laundering cases.

The demand was made by FIA’s Additional Director General Basharat Mehmood Shehzad during a briefing to the members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior here on Tuesday.

The FIA official told the committee members that there were many flaws in the anti-money laundering act hampering the working of the agency.

“The FIA should have the same access to the government’s record as NAB has,” he said.

Explaining, he said NAB could obtain records from any institution whereas the FIA had to seek permission from a judge for the same, causing a considerable delay in completing the investigations.

The FIA official also briefed the committee members on the issue of benami and fake accounts. He was of the view that fake and benami accounts could not be opened and operated without the involvement of bank officials, including the high-ups.

The meeting of the committee headed by Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz had been convened to receive a briefing “on the affairs of the FIA, including its mandate, SOPs (standard operating procedure), year-wise number of pending cases with strategy of early disposal and proposal for improvement.”

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