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LAHORE: The Investigating Officers (IOs) of the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Inland Revenue are not following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for issuing call-up notices to the taxpayers allegedly involved in money laundering, said sources.

They said it is mandatory for the IOs to specify in the call up notice the precise allegation against the petitioners relating to the offence of money laundering, said the sources.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Directorate manifestly compel the Investigating Officer to impart the necessary information to the concerned person regarding the property allegedly acquired through proceeds of crime allowing him to answer the allegation against him.

This is a necessary pre-condition to commence the proceedings against the person concerned for the purposes of attachment of property. It may be noted that despite a clear command of the SOPs, the Investigating Officers fail to adhere to the terms thereof in issuing notices to the accused persons which were devoid of the requisite information.

The departmental sources said that the Directorate has already formulated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and circulated through office orders on 19.11.2020 and which lay down complete guidelines for the Investigating Officers for proceeding with the inquiry/investigation of the offence of money laundering.

They also informed that the Directorate (I&I) also undertakes a desk audit of the information received from Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU). Office Order dated 05.03.2021 (SOP) deals with call-up notices by stipulating the following process to be followed by the Investigating Officer.

Within seven days, immediately after search and seizure, the Investigating Officer (IO) shall serve a notice of not less than 30 days on the person concerned in whose control, possession or ownership, the property and record was found or claims to be aggrieved or interested person.

Such a show-cause notice shall call upon such person to indicate the following: the source of his legal income and earnings, if any; the sources or means of which, he has acquired the property and the assets; the explanation of the record seized under sections 14 and 16 of the Act; the evidence on which he relies; other relevant information and particulars in support of his plea and the lawful justification as to why all or any of such properties should not be declared to be the properties involved in money laundering and forfeited to the federal government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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