SBP warns public against sale, purchase of foreign exchange with illegal money exchanges

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has warned general public against dealing of sale and purchase of foreign currency with illegal money exchanges.

The central bank in an information to general public said that sale, purchase and transfer of foreign currency through Hawala/Hundi operators is illegal.

The SBP said that people unknowingly may become part of money laundering and terrorism financing offence by dealing with illegal foreign exchange operators.

The money laundering and terrorism financing offences are punishable under Anti Money Laundering (AML) Act, 2010 and Anti Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.

The SBP advised the general public to carry foreign currency sale, purchase and remittance transactions with only State Bank authorized banks and exchange companies.

The central bank also advised to collect system generated official receipt of transactions. The general public has been urged to report any illegal foreign exchange sale/purchase and Hawala/Hundi Operators to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

The SBP said that the business of foreign exchange in Pakistan is regulated under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act (FERA), 1947. The SBP issues authorization to banks and exchange companies to conduct foreign exchange business.

Any person (individual or entity) other than those authorized by the SBP are doing illegal foreign exchange business which is punishable offence under FERA 1947 and AMLA 2010.

All such operators are informed in their own interest not to indulge in illegal foreign exchange sale/purchase and hawala/hundi business.

The SBP said that extensive action against illegal currency exchange and hawala/hundi operators is being carried out by relevant law enforcement agencies.

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