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FIA registers case against Moonis Elahi for Rs720 million money laundering

  • FIA registered money laundering case against Moonis Elahi
  • Investigation against Elahi was started when former Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered a probe into the sugar scandal
  • FIA also arrested two of Elahi’s front-men including Nawaz Bhatti and Mazhar Iqbal

LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore has registered a money laundering case against Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader MNA Chaudhry Moonis Elahi and others for alleged money laundering worth millions of rupees, Bol News has learnt.

According to the FIA’s first information report, the case against Elahi was registered under Sections 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention), 109 (punishment for abetment), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a genuine forged document) of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010.

According to the FIR, the FIA’s Anti-Corruption Circle in Lahore had registered an inquiry on August 7, 2020 pursuant to a report of the Sugar Inquiry Commission 2020 and now registered an FIR making State as complainant.

Investigation against Elahi was started when former Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered a probe into the sugar scandal that hit the country in 2020. Elahi was federal minister in Imran Khan’s cabinet at that time.

According to sources, FIA had collected material against Moonis Elahi while investigating Rahim Yar Khan Group’s own Alliance Sugar Mills wherein the former federal minister had also shared.

While investigating sugar scandal, FIA managed to register several cases against the incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his sons including incumbent Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz and Salman Shahbaz and PTI’s disgruntled leader Jahangir Khan Tareen but investigations against Chaudhrys of Gujrat and another former federal minister of Khan’s cabinet Khusro Bakhtiar remained in limbo.

Soon after a change of government at the Center and in Punjab, the FIA became active again and now registered a case against Moonis Elahi and his alleged front-men. The FIA also arrested two of Elahi’s front-men including Nawaz Bhatti and Mazhar Iqbal. FIA claimed that the PML-Q leader used these two persons for alleged money laundering.

Record of banks examined so far has revealed that Nawaz Bhatti [Naid Qasid] and Mazhar Abbas had been signatory in multiple bank accounts with a turnover of Rs24 billion.

The FIR further stated that their shares, after passing through intermediaries, were acquired by two special purpose vehicles (SPVs), including Bhatti’s nephew, Wajih Ahmed Khan Bhatti — who is an employee of the Punjab Assembly at present — and Cascade Tek Pvt Ltd. An SPV is a subsidiary company that is formed to undertake a specific business purpose or activity.

“Both these SPVs are controlled by accused Moonis Elahi (one directly and other one is controlled indirectly through his family member). This makes it evidently clear that accused M Nawaz Bhatti and Mazhar Abbas lent their identities and acted on behalf of Ch Moonis Elahi to disguise the origin and nature of ill-gotten funds/proceeds used to set up RYK Mills Ltd,” the FIR said.

According to the FIR, records had further revealed that “Makhdoom Omar Shehryar (Executive Director of the then proposed RYK Mills Ltd) applied for issuance of NOC (non-objection certificate) for setting up the sugar mill through an application to the Secretary Industries, Punjab on June 25, 2007 which was accordingly approved by the Ministry of Industries Punjab and CM Punjab Office in quick succession”.
Incumbent Punjab Assembly Speaker and Moonis’ father Pervaiz Elahi was the Punjab chief minister at the time and his “culpability will be determined during the investigation”, the FIR said.

Moreover, it added that Shahryar and his brother-in-law Tarik Jawaid collectively held 30.59 per cent shares in the mill as of 2020, and “the origin and nature of their investment of ill-gotten funds/proceeds is also unexplained”.

The FIA also accused Elahi of using ‘hundi’ to transfer money out of Pakistan, saying it had “solid evidence” against the elder son of Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch Pervaiz Elahi.
FIA’s Corporate Crime Circle Lahore has registered the case against Moonis Elahi, Secretary Punjab Assembly Muhammad Khan Bhatti, Wajid Ahmed Khan Bhatti, Nawaz Bhatti, and Mazhar Iqbal on the report of sugar inquiry commission.

The FIA sources said that ‘sufficient evidence’ was collected against Moonis after which the agency decided to formally start an investigation against him. He is accused of sending money abroad through “Hundi”. Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, according to sources, will also be investigated if evidence is found against him.

Meanwhile, Moonis Elahi reacted to the registration of the money laundering case against him and declared to appear in the FIA office.

“I am going to the FIA office myself. I have faced such vindictive acts before. We knew the true nature of the Sharifs. Therefore, we did not succumb to any temptation,” he said.

“PML-N can do whatever it wants, I stand by Imran Khan and will do so. When we decided to go with the PTI, we knew that the Sharifs would resort to such moves. We made an alliance with Imran Khan, and now I am ready to face vindictive acts,” he added.

Moonis Elahi said that he had been issued no notice, nor did he receive any call from the FIA before the registration of the case. “All my assets are declared,” he claimed. The PML-Q leader further said his party would also approach the Lahore High Court (LHC) against what he termed FIA’s “mala fide” case.

Reacting to the registration of the case against the PML-Q leader, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said younger Elahi shouldn’t get angry at the coalition government as it [the case] was a gift of Imran Khan for him.

“It was decided to arrest Moonis Elahi during the tenure of Imran Khan,” claimed the Interior Minister, adding, “Moonis Elahi had himself talked about this in the presence of Pervaiz Elahi.”

Moonis Elahi formed a private company and bought all the shares,” Rana further alleged. “We will respectfully make him be seated and show him all the documents,” he stated.

Courtesy Bol News

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