Published On: Thu, Apr 1st, 2021
Published in Category: Lahore

Sgar scandal: FIA books Jahangir Tareen, Ali Tareen for fraud & money laundering

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LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has booked senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sardar Jahangir Khan Tareen and his son, Ali Khan Tareen, for fraud and money laundering, it emerged on Wednesday.

According to the FIRs dated March 22, two separate cases were registered under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating of public shareholders) and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), read with sections 3/4 of the Anti Money Laundering Act.

Responding to the development, Jehangir Khan Tareen lashed out at the FIA and said the accusations against him and his family were “totally fabricated”. “I have already submitted a detailed reply along with concrete evidence in response to the FIA notice. Unfortunate to see them go on another smear campaign against me & my family without establishing anything illegal, ” he said.

“FIA’s latest claims against me and my family are totally fabricated. I have already submitted a detailed reply along with concrete evidence in response to FIA notice. Unfortunate to see them go on another smear campaign against me & my family without establishing anything illegal” Jahangir Khan Tareen tweeted on Wednesday.

One of the complaints states that Tareen fraudulently misappropriated shareholder’s money after his company — JDW group — transferred Rs3.14 billion to an associated private company identified as Farooqi Pulp Private Limited (FPML). The FIR stated that the private company is owned by his sons and close relatives.

“The transfers, especially after FY 2011-2012, were patently fraudulent investments which ultimately translated into personal gains for the family member of the JDW CEO, ” the FIR said.

It said that during this period, Tareen, his son and other family member purchased cash (US$) from the open market in Lahore in a “structured manner”.

“Subsequently, in 2016, Ali Khan Tareen remitted approximately US$7.4 Million to the United Kingdom for purchasing properties (to be investigated in detail during the course of investigation) which makes them liable for Anti-Money Laundering investigation, ” it said.

The FIA stated that Tareen, his son, son-in-law Waleed Akbar Faruki and Shahid Akbar Faruki beneficially controlled FPML and personally benefitted from this scheme.

In the second FIR, the investigation agency said “voluminous withdrawals amounting to at least Rs2.2 billion were fraudulently and dishonestly made through a trusted cash rider.” It noted that Amir Waris, employed as a cashier at JDW’s Corporate Head Office, deposited large amounts into the personal and business accounts of Tareen and his family members.

“This modus operandi of cash-based misappropriation and money laundering was employed to break the onwards money trail of deposits into personal and business accounts of the accused Tareen and family, ” it said.

It also stated that Rana Nasim Ahmed, JDW CEO, was also given large amounts from the company’s accounts to the tune of Rs600 million. “He claims these humungous amounts as salary, bonuses and ‘gentlemanly-agreed’ benefits.”

It is pertinent here to mention that the FIA had lodged case against Jahangir Tareen for months ago also.

Last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan had tasked the FIA to investigate the sugar crisis throughout the country and find out who benefited from it.

A report by the FIA released last year had claimed that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country.

Among the people named in the FIA report were Jahangir Tareen and a brother of the then Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar.

Tareen was said by the report to have benefited the most from the sugar crisis followed by Bakhtiar’s brother.

The report had also claimed that companies belonging to Moonis Elahi — an ally of the party — profited from the sugar crisis. Elahi is Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s son and a key member of the PML-Q.

Earlier this week, the FIA summoned the chief financial officers (CFOs) and heads of sales of eight major sugar groups in connection with the ‘speculative price-hike’ of the sweetener.

“The FIA has summoned the chief financial officers (CFOs) and heads of sales of PTI’s Jahangir Tareen’s JDW Sugar Mills for April 2, Maryam Nawaz and Sharif family’s Chaudhry Sugar Mills on March 31, Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz’s Ramzan Sugar Mills on April 2, Madina Sugar Mills of Kissan group on April 7, Hamza Sugar Mills on April 8 and three others in the sugar scam. The owners of these sugar groups will be summoned at the later stage, ” an official source told Dawn.

The FIA has recently detected Rs110 billion earning by the sugar mafia during the last one year through ‘speculative pricing’ and it initiated action against those involved in it.

Prior to this, the FIA had also registered an FIR against Tareen’s JDW group and Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt Ltd, Lahore, under sections 420, 468, 471 and 109 of the PPC, read with sections 3/4 of Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.