ISLAMABAD-The local leadership of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Tuesday moved an application with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against Pakistan-based American blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie on charges of getting bank account opened allegedly through fraudulent means.
Raja Ammar Shaukat Turk and Rohail Ishtiaq, both local leaders of PPP Rawalpindi chapter, in an application submitted with the FIA’s Commercial Banking Circle said that a criminal case may be registered under different sections of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), and relevant banking law and regulations against Ms Ritchie.
As many as four lawyers including representatives of People’s Lawyers Forum submitted the application on behalf of the applicants. Before this, the applicants on July 16 had moved an application with Kohsar Police Station in Islamabad but the latter advised them to approach the FIA.
The application says that the US blogger is holding business visa but she is working as an employee/salaried person as revealed via Twitter. It says that investigation may also be initiated against the concerned bank manager and others facilitators who have been allegedly involved in fraud and forgery while opening the bank account. It further says that “they must be booked for their criminal negligence which may lead to some kind of money laundering from Pakistan.”
The application claims that US blogger with the connivance of bank employees has committed fraud and mis-declarations while opening a bank account. It pointed out that Ms Ritchie was issued business visa on 18th March 2019 which got expired on 2nd March 2020. Under the term and conditions of her business visa, she was supposed to do only business in Pakistan but “she acted otherwise by misdeclaring wilfully and fraudulently with the intention to commit crime under Banking Laws & Regulations.”
It further said that US blogger in connivance with the bank manager and other facilitators opened her bank account by submitting fake documents without proper clearance from the relevant departments.
According to the law, Ms Ritchie should have opened business account in Pakistan but she opened salaried account in violation of business visa regime and banking law & regulations, the application said. It added that she has mis-declared to the bank that she was a salaried person “to avoid he source of her money.” Bank authorities failed to take salary slip or letter from her employer before accepting her version.
The applicants pointed out that she misstated to the bank authorities that she was born in Los Angeles, USA while Louisiana, USA has been mentioned as has her birthplace on her passport. It further accused that she has mis-declared that she has no business in USA where as she been declared as bankrupt there.