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Authorities recover 12 more vehicles allegedly belonging to Qatari royals

Updated September 28, 2018

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The luxury vehicles recovered by authorities in Islamabad.
The luxury vehicles recovered by authorities in Islamabad.
12 vehicles were recovered by the  authorities from the premises of a warehouse in Islamabad. —DawnNewsTV
12 vehicles were recovered by the authorities from the premises of a warehouse in Islamabad. —DawnNewsTV

The authorities in Islamabad on Friday recovered 12 luxury vehicles allegedly belonging to the Qatari royal family from outside and within a warehouse located on Kuri Road, DawnNewsTV reported.

Initially, the Islamabad police recovered two vehicles from outside the warehouse — which they handed over to customs officials. Later in the day, officials belonging to the intelligence arm of the Customs Department raided the warehouse and found 10 more cars from inside.

"The cars were recovered in mysterious circumstances within the jurisdiction of the Bani Gala police station," a police official told DawnNewsTV.

The police claim that Irfan Siddiqui, the warehouse manager, confirmed that the cars belong to the Qatari royal family.

Earlier this week, at least 21 non-custom paid luxury vehicles — all belonging to the Qatari royal family — were recovered from the parking lot of a dairy farm in Rawat owned by Saifur Rehman, a former chairman of the now-defunct Ehtesaab Bureau.

The 21 vehicles were part of a batch of 50 cars imported by Qatari royals three years ago for hunting purposes. The remaining vehicles are suspected to be in the use of prominent personalities, customs officials had told DawnNewsTV.

The import duty applicable on all 50 cars had been waived for a period of three months by the PML-N government via a statutory regulatory order. However, the duty was never paid and the cars never returned to Qatar, a Customs Department official had said.

Moreover, the Qatar Embassy in Islamabad had confirmed the ownership of the cars recovered from the dairy farm.

The Customs Department suspects that some of the vehicles belonging to the Qatari royal family had been in the use of the Sharif family.

At least one of the cars was recovered from Maryam Nawaz's son, Junaid Safdar, DawnNewsTV had reported.

The driver of the vehicle, who was arrested when the car was seized, had provided the tip-off about the location of the other vehicles which were discovered at the dairy farm.

According to an initial investigation conducted by customs intelligence, 330 cars have been brought into the country since 2012 under the safety of the cover that diplomatic immunity provides. Of these, 50 cars were returned whereas 280 cars were still in Pakistan.

Today's discovery brings the total number of cars recovered this week to 33.