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US State Department declares Khanani group as money laundering institute

Washington: The State Department of United States named Pakistan-based Altaf Khanani group a Money Laundering Organization (MLO) and alleged it to launder billion of dollars for criminal and terrorist organizations.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William R. Brownfield told in media briefing at Washington, that the State Department had presented its 32nd International Narcotics Control Strategy report to Congress.

He said:”However, it is the first that we are discussing the report with media.” The report, in its section on Pakistan, states:”Altaf Khanani, Pakistan-based MLO which was nominated by the USA as an international organized criminal group in 2015, facilitates illegal transfers of money between countries including Pakistan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), UK, Canada, Australia and the USA.”

The report further alleged the group for laundering billion of dollars to various crime groups and individuals designated with terrorists organization; the clients includes Chinese, Colombian, and Mexican ethnics.

The report also notes Pakistan a strategically located country at the coast of Arabian Sea at the nexus of south, central and western Asia having insecure borders with Afghanistan, Iran and China, used to smuggle narcotics and illegal items.

The report also notes that Pakistan suffers from financial crimes including fraud, tax evasion, corruption, contraband smuggling, counterfeit goods trading, narcotics trafficking, human smuggling, terrorism and terrorist financing. It adds, money laundering in Pakistan affects its formal and informal systems and the country does not have strong control over its borders to stop illegal activities.

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had also formed committee to probe out the money laundering charges against Khanani and Kalia International. Whereas, Javed Khanani, Director of Khanani group died in December 2016, by falling off roof of an under-construction building in Karachi, which was apparently a suicide case.