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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 20, 2007
FBI team in Pakistan for U.S. bank scam probe
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FBI team in Pakistan for U.S. bank scam probe

A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) team has landed in Pakistan to carry out the Pakistani leg of a criminal investigation of a bank scam, involving several top Pakistani financial officials.

New York/Karachi, May 20 : A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) team has landed in Pakistan to carry out the Pakistani leg of a criminal investigation of a bank scam, involving several top Pakistani financial officials.

The team, according to the Dawn, is reportedly pursuing leads provided by Hafiz Naseem, a Pakistani working for the Credit Suisse Bank who has been charged with insider trading here.

Some Pakistani cabinet ministers, their relatives, top bankers and the mighty stock brokers of Karachi, are being alleged to have made millions of dollars from the recent inside trading scheme of the US.

Sources told The News that the FBI team was now busy investigating charges of money laundering for al-Qaeda against some top bankers with links with Pakistan's top government officials, included close advisers to government authorities both in Islamabad and Lahore.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is aware of the investigations being conducted by the FBI in Islamabad and Karachi and discussed the issue with some of his ministers.

The arrival of the FBI team in Pakistan has reportedly given the jitters to senior bank officials and politicians.

Neil Donovan, an FBI official in New York, was quoted as saying that the inquiry is ongoing, and the US attorney's office would answer all questions pertaining to the probe.

One Wall Street investment banker said the case had the makings of a huge scandal which could rock Pakistan's financial sector in a big way and have profound repercussions.

Hafiz Naseem was an employee of Credit Suisse and was an adviser on nine deals. He used to pass on information to Aijaz Rahim, who executed trades before the deals were announced.

Rahim, a former head of the Investment Banking Group at Faysal Bank, agreed to cooperate with the authorities once it was established that he was being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for having links with Naseem, the US authorities said.

The scam appeared in the press earlier this month when Naseem, 37, was arrested in New York and charged with 26 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud.

ANI

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