The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in Pakistan has uncovered a massive case of money laundering and under-invoicing in the trade industry, making it one of the country’s biggest financial scandals. 

Following a thorough investigation by auditors, the FBR took legal action against two companies based in Peshawar. They found that these companies were involved in a staggering money laundering operation worth Rs47 billion, which they officially termed ‘trade-based money laundering.’ 

According to the FBR’s report, these companies allegedly caused a massive financial loss of Rs25 billion to the national exchequer by under-invoicing transactions, all under the guise of dealing with solar panels. 

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In the FIR, the owners of these companies, Moon Light Traders and Bright Star, were named as suspects. The report revealed that Bright Star had been involved in under-invoicing since 2013, while auditors scrutinised records of 705 Goods Declarations (GDs) related to Moon Light Traders. 

Furthermore, it was discovered that these companies continued their money laundering activities from 2017 to 2022. According to ARY News, the FBR promptly shared its report on trade-based money laundering and under-invoicing with the Caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaarul Haq Kakar. 

In a separate incident in September, the FBR exposed a massive tax fraud worth Rs314 billion perpetrated by a fictitious company called K H & Sons. This fraud was uncovered by the Director-General of Internal Audit at Inland Revenue’s team. 

Interestingly, K H & Sons was a paper company registered under the name of a Benami individual, Muhammad Kashif. Their fabricated documents falsely claimed to be in the iron and steel business, using addresses of legitimate markets like Liaquat Market, Agri Market, and M.A. Jinnah Market. 

Sources also revealed that this bogus company was used for various illegal activities. What’s surprising is that despite the large-scale tax fraud, the FBR had not taken legal action against the culprits, leading to concerns that they might flee the country if a First Information Report (FIR) was not filed promptly.