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Karachi falooda stall owner stumbles onto Rs2b in his account

Abdul Qadir lives in 40-square-yard house in Orangi Town

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 29, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Sep 29, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Abdul Qadir lives in a 40-square-yard house in Orangi Town, Karachi, a lower-middle income locality. He runs a small Falooda stall selling the jelly ice-cream treat.

Making ends meet was always a bit of a struggle. But this week he discovered that was a billionaire. There is Rs2.25 billion in a bank account in his name that he never opened.

He came to know about the existence of the bank account in his name only when he received a letter from the Federal Investigation Agency.

“I was out buying stuff for my stall when the FIA people left a letter for me,” he said. “When I came home, my brother told me that there’s a letter from the FIA in your name and you have been summoned.”

When Qadir went to the FIA office, he was astonished to know that there are Rs2.25 billion in his account. They asked me what I did for the living, he said. "They had seen it themselves that I run a small stall and realized that I couldn’t have that kind of money."

“When they showed me the signature on the back account form, I told them that it is not mine,” he said. “I sign in Urdu and the signature they showed me was in English.”

Qadir said he had opened an account once when he bought a house in Surjani Town.

Now, there are four policemen standing outside his house. The police say that they are there for his security.

This couldn’t be done without the bank’s involvement

Muzammil Islam, an economist, said that the bank should have flagged the account when the first few hundred thousands were transferred. “How can a small-time stall owner have so much money,” he asked.

This is probably the case of a fake bank account, said Islam. It is impossible to open a fake account without the involvement of bank employees, he said.

A State Bank spokesperson said that the FIA is investigating. We will provide assistance if required, the spokesperson said.
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