Afghan firms smuggling dollars in lakhs from Pak daily

November 11th, 2008 - 2:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, Nov 11 (ANI): A few Afghan-based money exchange firms are facilitating illegal export of US dollars from Pakistan to Afghanistan, thus causing a massive devaluation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, said State Bank of Pakistan Governor Shamshad Akhtar in a communique to the countrys Interior Adviser Rehman Malik.

She requested to investigate the matter and ensure that more vigilance was exercised on currency smuggling.

According to rough estimates, some 4-5 million dollars per day are being smuggled to Afghanistan, while the rising demand of the dollar has also increased its value against other currencies.

According to The News, the letter was apparently written in the backdrop of intelligence reports that American dollars were being smuggled in huge quantity from Pakistan into Afghanistan, which has primarily caused decline in the rupee value to the historic lowest level of over Rs 80 against the dollar.

As a matter of fact, a large number of Pakistani and Afghan currency dealers are buying dollars in huge quantity from Peshawar market and are smuggling it into Afghanistan, added the paper.

In the backdrop of huge export of US dollars, the State Bank had stopped the supply of dollar to the exchange companies, as some of them were acquiring one dollar at Rs 80 from the central bank and selling at Rs 82-83 in the Peshawar market.

Identifying an Afghanistan-based exchange company namely Shirkatul Ansar, the SBP Governor stated in her letter that the level of physical export of US dollar to Afghanistan for onward export to Dubai has rapidly increased since the dollar mostly fetches a better exchange rate at Afghanistan, and then it is exported to Dubai for conversion into the UAE Dirham.

Further elaborating, the Governor wrote in her letter: In addition to finding a comfortable place for onward journey to Dubai via Afghanistan, US dollar is also being exported to Afghanistan for onward wire transfers to China for payment/settlements of trade transactions with China.

Identifying loopholes in the prevailing money transfer system, the Governor stated in the letter: The Telegraphic Transfer charges of Afghan banks are very competitive with inadequate adherence to Know Your Customer (KYC) standard. (ANI)

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