The Pakistani Rupee continues to depreciate against the US Dollar despite the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) stern action against illegal currency businesses, with the Rupee sliding to a record low of Rs. 181.3 against the greenback in the open market on Friday.
Speaking in this regard, Director General (DG) FIA, Sanaullah Abbasi, said that the FIA has arrested 265 people and confiscated local and foreign currencies worth more than Rs. 665 million from all over the country as part of its ongoing operation against illegal currency businesses to stabilize the Rupee against the Dollar.
He added the FIA’s action against illegal currency businesses consists of two phases. During the first phase which lasted from 25 August to 30 November, FIA had arrested 107 individuals, sealed 21 shops, lodged 92 FIRs, carried out 40 inquiries, and recovered local currency worth Rs. 209 million and Rs. 156 million of foreign currency.
In the second phase that started on 1 December and is still going on, FIA has arrested 158 individuals, sealed 9 shops, lodged 117 FIRs, carried out 40 inquiries, and recovered local currency worth Rs. 222 million and Rs. 88 million of foreign currency.
Note that the FIA had launched against illegal currency businesses after the Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr. Raza Baqir, earlier this year claimed that US Dollars in bulk are being smuggled to Afghanistan.
In 2021, the FIA also took action against foreign exchange companies. The agency inspected over 10,000 transactions of five A category and 29 B category money changers. Upon finding irregularities, the FIA lodged 7 FIRs and conducted 11 inquiries against B category foreign exchange companies.
The agency also inspected thousands of suspicious transactions after obtaining information about them from Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) this year. In this regard, 156 FIRs have been registered and 29 STRs have been sent to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) for further action.
When asked why the Rupee is depreciating against the Dollar despite FIA’s action, Sanaullah Abbasi said that the FIA only deals with the black market while the SBP and Finance Ministry are responsible for looking after the national and international variables and macro and micro economic indicators.