- Shahzad Akbar says FIA’s probe against Shah is underway.
- Says FIA has shared Hareem Shah’s video with British crime agency as well.
- Shah, after releasing her video of flaunting stacks of British pounds, retracted her statement.
LAHORE: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Shahzad Akbar on Friday spoke about the ongoing controversy surrounding TikTok star Hareem Shah and said that “money laundering is not a subject that one can joke about.”
On January 10, 2022, the TikToker had uploaded a video on social media in which she could be seen flaunting stacks of British pounds.
Akbar, while addressing a press conference in Lahore, said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has taken notice of Shah’s video and launched an inquiry into the matter.
He said that the controversial video has also been shared with a British probe agency.
Following the FIA’s decision to launch a money-laundering probe against Shah, she had retracted the statement on Wednesday.
The FIA, on Wednesday, had announced that it had initiated an investigation after Shah claimed that she had “successfully carried a hefty amount of money in cash to the United Kingdom” as against the law.
As reported by Geo News, the FIA had decided to write a letter to the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to take action against Shah.
An FIA spokesperson told Geo News that an investigation regarding Shah’s travel to the UK was already underway, adding that Shah had herself confessed to laundering money to the UK, following which a probe was launched.
Hareem Shah retracts statement, says she only made a video
Responding to the news, the TikToker, who is often in the news for the wrong reasons, retracted her earlier statement and denied carrying any money to the UK.
“I have not carried any money abroad. I just made a video to say so,” the controversial vlogger said.
The social media sensation, in her January 10 video, had claimed that she carried the money out of the country “seamlessly,” adding that “neither anyone caught me nor they have the [capacity] to catch me.”
Citing reasons for carrying a hefty sum of money abroad, Shah said that she did so because the “Pakistani currency and passport had no worth abroad.”
She said that while it was not a “big deal” for her to transport the money outside of the country, the move could potentially cause problems for other Pakistanis.
“However, other Pakistani citizens should be careful [when carrying money abroad] because the country’s law is only for the poor,” she claimed.
It should be noted that Pakistani laws prohibit individuals from carrying more than $10,000 in cash outside of the country.
Twist in the story
On Thursday, a British-Pakistani businessman and former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) candidate for the 2018 elections Daniyal Malik had come forward to defend Shah and said that “the bundles of cash in UK sterling pounds that Hareem Shah [flaunted] in her social media video belonged to me and there was no money-laundering of any kind”.