Check currency smuggling

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THE FIA has reportedly launched a massive crackdown against illegal currency business, hoarding and smuggling. During a major raid in Karachi, local and foreign currency notes worth over Rs 290m were seized.

Of late the agency, conducted 51 raids across the country especially in border areas in which 15 suspects were taken into custody for further investigation and 8 FIRs were registered.

Over the last few days, the rupee witnessed record depreciation against the dollar and recent FIA raids unambiguously suggest that the illegal outflow of foreign currency is one of the reasons behind devaluation of our currency. This menace poses a major threat to our economy and also has security dimensions.

Our economy has already suffered a lot because of these illegal transactions, therefore, loopholes in the system must be plugged to stop the smuggling of both currency and commodities.

Given the current situation in Afghanistan, stringent measures need to be taken both at the borders and airports to check illegal flow of currency.

Failing to do so will only aggravate the situation and the brunt will be borne by our people in the form of sky rocketing prices. Those involved in this illegal business deserve no mercy at all and must be punished as per law without any discrimination.

In fact there is a need to make anti-smuggling laws more robust and effective, envisaging strict punishments and penalties for culprits.

It is really a matter of satisfaction that the FIA is also collaborating with the SBP, the Financial Management Unit and other stakeholders for detecting any foul play conducted by registered forex companies and apprehending the culprits.

The very support of moneychangers is also commendable. Hence, those doing their business in legal manner must not be disturbed but those involved in illegal activities must not be spared at all.

We are confident that impact of the FIA raids on the rupee value will be visible in coming days. In addition, instead of leaving the exchange rate at the mercy of market forces, government must intervene to keep the exchange rate from running amok.

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