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What makes Hawala/Hundi Business So Attractive? It’s Profit

Hawala/hundi business is very profitable and thus thriving, as the Forex companies earn one rupee for a dollar if they deposit the dollars purchased from open market with the State Bank. But they get Rs4 to Rs5 per dollar in case of using this money for hawala/hundi.

It was reported by The News in a latest story, which said the majority of Pakistan’s registered Forex companies collect at least $40 million ($42 million is quoted by private market players) in a single day and deposit just $10 million with the State Bank.

Meanwhile, the remaining amount is used for hawala/hundi business, said The News in a report that cited inside sources in the business.

It said the dollars purchased from market were sent abroad mostly through air route and most of the agents travel to three different destinations every day and come back next day.

Two of these destinations are in Middle East and one in Far East. The profit earned from this business is distributed among all Forex companies equally and agents of these companies travel daily to transport cash abroad, mostly from Karachi.

The report also claimed that the agencies deputed at the airports to check smuggling were part of this dirty game.

The figures show that over $1 billion a month are shifted abroad through black market. Later, this cash comes back through banking channel, mainly telegraphic transfer (TT), with 50 per cent retained with Forex dealers and the remaining submitted with the State Bank.

On the other hand, the money retained in shape of foreign currency is provided to the importers who use to make payments of under-invoiced imports and they make payment abroad or is utilised to buy properties in other countries.

A renowned business warned that inflation, affecting business and common people, would be unmanageable, if the illegal business wasn’t stopped.

Earlier, SBP Governor Baqir Reza at his first press conference had said that it would create panic if the State Bank purchases dollars from Forex market, which was to be more harmful.


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