The Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari (KASB) Bank, acquired by Bank Islami Pakistan Ltd (BIPL) for a nominal amount of Rs1000, was embroiled in a significant money laundering scandal. This scandal surfaced post-acquisition when Bank Islami evaluated KASB’s accounts and discovered a massive money laundering operation. Nasir Ali Shah Bokhari, the advisor to the Chairman of KASB Bank, was implicated in this scam.
Bokhari allegedly used a fake company, Worldtel Asia Limited, later renamed Silk Route Investments, to launder money. This company, registered in the Cayman Islands and operated by a Singaporean national acting as a front for Bokhari, opened five accounts in KASB Bank. Through these accounts, over Rs5 billion was laundered to various countries, including China, Germany, and Iran.
KASB Bank had been struggling financially since 2009, failing to meet the Minimum Capital Requirement (MCR) and Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR). There was interest from a Chinese company in acquiring the bank, but the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rejected this due to the company not meeting the required capital and credential standards. The acquisition by Bank Islami made it the 11th largest bank in Pakistan, with a network of 317 branches and over 600,000 customers.
Nasir Ali Shah Bukhari, in response to the allegations, denied any involvement in money laundering. He claimed the accusations were part of a malicious campaign to tarnish his image, insisting that he had always brought money into the country and did not own any property or assets abroad