State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Shamshad Akhtar has said that the (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Federal Reserve Bank have not approached it for assisting in the investigation of US insider trading scam, involving two Pakistani bankers.
Responding to various queries pertaining to the presence of FBI team in Pakistan, she told the National Assembly standing committee on finance and revenue on Tuesday: "No FBI team has contacted the SBP for collecting information on the scam." When committee members again inquired about visit of FBI team, she said that Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had approached her to remain vigilant.
Dr Shamshad said that if any FBI team was present in Pakistan, somebody might have contacted the SBP. Even the US Federal Reserve Bank had not approached the SBP. "We do not know about the presence of any such investigative team in Pakistan."
She said that one of the allegedly involved bankers had left the country prior to the start of the investigation. "I have not been informed about his involvement in the insider trading scam, but it is clear that Ijaz has left the country," she added.
MNAs Kashmala Tairq and Naveed Qamar raised several queries about SBP's mechanism for checking movement of billions of dollars during stock market crash of March 2005. The SBP Governor said that a transaction routed through banking system comes under the purview of the central bank, but matters relating to increase/decrease in stock market shares are regulated by the SECP. Stock market phenomenon and its capital movement have nothing to do with the SBP, she added.
Some committee members were surprised to note that SBP was unaware of the transactions of billions of dollars which took place during the March 2005 crisis. The SBP Governor said: "We are unaware of the capital flight during the stock market crash. The SBP has a track record of handling the money coming to Pakistan through legal banking channel." "If we assume that the money in such a large quantity has gone out of country, this cannot happen without the notice of central bank", she added.
Courtesy by Business Recorder.