KARACHI: Chinese authorities have temporarily confiscated the passport of a known shoe importer for illegally transferring foreign exchange out of Pakistan to China through grossly over-invoicing the imports.

Sources said the said shoe importer laundered millions of dollars through over-invoicing imports of solar panels from China, which are exempted from duties and taxes. The Chinese authorities have confiscated the passport of said importer and conducting investigations into the phenomenon. Since the passport is with the authorities the accused cannot come back to Pakistan.

It may be recalled that formed Collector MCC Appraisement West Shahnaz Maqbol in a letter to Director General Intelligence & Investigation-FBR had informed that certain importers were involved in money laundering through massive over-invoicing of imports from China.

Shahnaz Maqbool also blocked several Goods Declarations of solar panels and conducted a scrutiny and market inquiry to ascertain that the prices of solar panels declared by the importers and concluded that foreign exchange equivalent to billions of rupees had been laundered in this manner.

Shahnaz Maqbool had suggested to Director General Customs Intelligence & Investigation that there were sufficient reasons to investigate the phenomenon in its full scale and referred the case to Customs Intelligence & Investigation being a notified law enforcement agency under the anti-money laundering Act 2010 for appropriate action.