The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has confiscated properties worth Rs3.5 billion owned by the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (KKF) of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, sources in the agency said on Thursday.
MQM's London-based founder Altaf Hussain along with other party leaders, including former federal minister Babar Ghauri, former senator Ahmed Ali, Karachi Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra, Khawaja Sohail Mansoor and Khawaja Rehan have been booked in a case pertaining to alleged money laundering.
At least 29 properties in the possession of KKF — MQM's charity wing — and located in various areas of Karachi have been seized, FIA sources told DawnNewsTV.
They alleged that the properties had been establishment with funds collected through extortion.
The funds raised through the properties, by way of rent, used to be sent to the United Kingdom through six or so facilitators, which allegedly included Ghauri, Mansoor and Ali, among others.
According to the FIA sources, transactions related to the properties were also conducted using fake names.
The funds raised through rent on the properties were utilised for two chief purposes, the sources said, without elaborating.
One of the uses of the money was to make payments to the families of the deceased and detained MQM workers.
And while the investigating agency has seized KKF's properties, the payments being made to the families of MQM members have not been stopped, the sources told DawnNewsTV.
Money laundering case
FIA sources had told Dawn in November that the KKF was established in 1988 and the MQM mostly generated/distributed funds through it. These funds were ‘misused’ and an estimated Rs5-6 billion was sent to the MQM leaders, including Altaf Hussain, in London.
The FIA took cognisance of the matter and got a First Information Report registered against Hussain and some other party leaders in 2017.
The case was subsequently transferred from FIA's Karachi office to the FIA Islamabad, where a special team of the agency’s counter-terrorism wing was dealing with it.
The agency had last year prepared a list of 726 persons who allegedly gave donations, ranging between a few thousands and millions of rupees, to the KKF.