LONDON: More than two weeks after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Abid Sher Ali claimed to have filed a complaint with British authorities to investigate the allegedly dubious UK properties of PTI’s Faisal Vawda, a federal minister, officials here denied that any such report was filed.
In an email to Dawn, a spokesperson for the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said: “We can confirm that Abid Sher Ali attended an old NCA office in London. He was advised that he could not make a report at this location and was provided with the address for the agency’s headquarters, which is also on our website. Mr Ali did not visit our headquarters or provide any documents.”
The NCA’s statement came in response to a question sent by Dawn on Jan 25 which sought details on the complaint filed by Abid Sher Ali.
The agency’s initial response was “we neither confirm nor deny the existence of ongoing investigations”. However, this week an official denied Mr Sher Ali’s claim of having filed a report.
Abid Sher Ali surfaced in London last month when he was seen leaving a building which appears to belong to the NCA as it bears the agency’s sign and logo. However, the NCA says that official complaints are only made at the authority’s headquarters in Vauxhall and not at the office in Old Queen Street in Westminster, which was visited by Mr Ali.
When contacted by Dawn, the PML-N leader maintained his stance and said that he stood by his earlier statements.
He had alleged last month that Mr Vawda owned 11 properties under his name in the United Kingdom but claimed there was no money trail to show how they were purchased. “I have shared all the evidence with the NCA, which includes land records, footage of the property and Vawda’s nomination papers which do not reflect how these were purchased. The rest is up to the NCA.”
The former MNA said that he approached the agency against the federal minister as he had been vocal in making allegations of corruption against members of the PML-N.
Mr Vawda said he would not comment on this issue till the ban on his talk show appearances was lifted. He was barred from appearing on talk shows by the prime minister after he stirred controversy by bringing a military boot to a prime time show to mock the opposition’s role in parliament regarding legislation on the army chief’s extension.
The NCA is the UK’s prime agency for investigating crime and money laundering. It works with other governments to keep crime out of the UK.
Last year, the NCA made headlines when it confiscated a property and bank accounts belonging to the family of property tycoon Malik Riaz
Hussain in London as part of its efforts to curb money laundering and unexplained wealth in the United Kingdom.
Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2020