LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau, Lahore, on Wednesday summoned Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Ali Jahangir Siddiqui on Aug 27.

According to sources, Mr Siddiqui as director of investment firm Azgard Nine Ltd, was “siphoning off funds amounting to €23.758 million in 2008 for the purchase of an Italian company, Monte Bello SRL, using a foreign company, Fairytal SRL, Sweden, which resulted in a loss to the company and its shareholders.”

According to NAB, a foreign company, Fairtal SRL, Sweden, was used for the deal, which suffered losses along with its shareholders. There are also allegations that the shares of a company named Agritech Limited were sold to various financial and government institutions at a price higher than the market rate to settle loan defaults. This resulted in a loss of Rs40 billion to various financial and government institutions.

In 2016, a Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) report said that prices of Azgard Nine group’s shares were artificially increased from Rs24 to Rs70, and payments were also made to an unidentified party.

The NAB sources said Mr Siddiqui was directed to personally appear before the investigation team.

Mr Siddiqui was earlier appeared before the joint investigation team in April and replied to its queries for his role in the alleged stock manipulation case.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2018

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