Pharmacies accused of money laundering



ISLAMABAD:

MP Ramesh Lal on Friday accused some drug companies of converting black money into white money under the nose of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).

At a meeting of the Standing Committee on Health chaired by Nisar Ahmed Cheema, MP Ramesh Lal alleged that some pharmaceutical companies were laundering money under the guise of importing raw materials while clearly violating the laws.

Ramesha Lal, who is also a member of the health committee, said more than a year had passed since the full case file was sent to DRAP. However, he lamented, the authority failed to explain it and present the report to the committee.

“The performance of the DRAP is not satisfactory,” he said, informing that he would take the case of these pharmaceutical companies to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) or the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The lawmaker also asked the committee to refer the matter to the NAB or the FIA.

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Sharing the details of the case, Ramesh told the committee that DRAP allows a company to purchase raw materials for the purpose of manufacturing drugs for $ 1,000 per kg.

However, the same raw material was allowed to some companies for the meager sum of three hundred dollars.

“If that doesn’t count as money laundering, what would?” Ramesh asked.

Committee chairman Nisar Ahmed Cheema asked DRAP agents to submit details of the case presented by members to the committee.

Mr. Cheema also urged pharmaceutical companies to reduce drug prices.

The committee also decided to visit the major pharmaceutical companies in phases in the four provinces.



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