SC to take up illegal money transfer case tomorrow

Updated November 29, 2018

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FIA list shows PM’s sister Aleema among 44 politically exposed individuals having properties abroad. — File
FIA list shows PM’s sister Aleema among 44 politically exposed individuals having properties abroad. — File

ISLAMABAD: Soon after the return of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar from the United Kingdom, the Supreme Court will resume on Friday hearing a case relating to illegal transfer of money from Pakistan to countries. The court may also take up a list of 44 politically exposed individuals or their benamidars who possessed properties in the United Arab Emirates.

Furnished by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the list contains the name of Aleema Khanum, a sister of Prime Minister Imran Khan. She is identified as benamidar of a property. A notice was issued to her through email as well as delivered at her home address, but her domestic staff said she was abroad.

The list was part of the annexure submitted to a three-judge SC bench comprising Chief Justice Nisar, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.

Taking suo motu notice of the matter, the apex court had observed that it appeared the money siphoned off abroad without payment of taxes through illegal channels represented either ill-gotten gains or kickbacks from public contracts. “Such money creates gross disproportion, inequality and disparity in society, which warps economic activity and growth, and constitutes plunder and theft of national wealth,” it said.

FIA list submitted to apex court shows PM’s sister Aleema among 44 politically exposed individuals having properties in UAE

In an earlier order, the court had also observed that it was common knowledge for years that a large number of Pakistani citizens were maintaining their bank accounts in other countries without disclosing these to the authorities competent under the laws of Pakistan or paying taxes on the same in accordance with the law.

The list furnished by the FIA also mentions the name of Irfanullah Khan Marwat, a politician, though he has disowned the property shown in his name.

Likewise, Mumtaz Ahmed Muslim, who is affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, has conceded that he owns properties in Dubai, but not 16 properties as mentioned in the FIA list.

Rizwana Amin, wife of the late Makhdoom Amin Fahim of the Pakistan Peoples Party, owned four properties. A notice was issued to her, but her watchman did not receive it because she was out of the country.

Naureen Sami Khan, who owned three properties in the UAE, is wife of Arshad Sami Khan and is under verification by the Federal Board of Revenue.

Sardar Dildar Ahmed Cheema, former MNA from Faisalabad, disowned two properties in the UAE shown in his name.

Tahira Manzoor owned six properties in the UAE. She is daughter of Tariq Aziz, personal secretary to former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, and is under verification by the FBR.

Sublina Zulfikar, who owned a property in the UAE, is wife of Collector Customs Dr Zulfikar Ahmed.

Agha Shahid Majeed Khan, a government servant and serving as Collector Customs, also owned one property.

Zulfikar Baloch, who owned one property, is grandson of former federal minister Mir Ibrahim Reki. He had declared the property received as a gift from his grandfather in the tax returns.

Azra Nasreen, mother of TV anchor Dr Farrukh Saleem, owned a property in the UAE, but it has been declared in the tax returns.

Mohammad Aijaz Haroon, who had served as managing director of the Pakistan International Airlines during the PPP government, disowned a property shown in his name.

The name of Abdullah Kadwani also featured in the list with one property. He is former PRO to the Sindh governor and also an actor.

Irshad Ahmed has one property in the UAE. He is employee of the Sindh Zarai Taraqqiati Bank and previously worked in the Sindh local government.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2018