UK crime agency arrests Pakistani couple to probe money laundering allegations

The United Kingdom's National Crime Agency on Monday announced to have "arrested a former Pakistani politically exposed person", aged 40, along with his 30-year-old wife, "in connection with alleged money laundering in the United Kingdom believed to be the result of corruption in Pakistan".

According to a statement issued by the UK's agency, the couple, who were arrested in Surrey [county in southeastern England], "control a UK property portfolio worth more than £8 million for which they appear to have no legitimate source of income".

The investigation which led to the arrest of the couple by NCA's International Corruption Unit was "supported by the National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency in Pakistan," read the statement.

"The man and his wife were questioned by NCA officers and have now been released under investigation."

The International Corruption Unit, which is principally funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) and concentrates its resources where there is a clear link with countries that receive overseas development aid from the UK, investigates serious criminal allegations of bribery and corruption.

This includes bribery committed either by a UK-based person or company to gain commercial advantage overseas, or the investigation of money laundering in the UK committed by foreign "Politically Exposed Persons".

Earlier on Monday, Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem and British Home Secretary Sajid Javid jointly announced a justice and accountability 'initiative' between the UK and Pakistan aimed at repatriating "the looted wealth of the country".

The initiative — which the duo insisted will not target individuals but is a broader arrangement between the two governments to collaborate for the elimination of a variety of crimes — was launched during the British home secretary's official visit to Islamabad.



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