LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Sunday summoned chief financial officers (CFOs) and heads of sales of eight major sugar groups in connection with the ‘speculative price-hike’ of the sweetener.
“The FIA has summoned the chief financial officers (CFOs) and heads of sales of PTI’s Jahangir Tareen’s JDW Sugar Mills for April 2, Maryam Nawaz and Sharif family’s Chaudhry Sugar Mills on March 31, Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz’s Ramzan Sugar Mills on April 2, Madina Sugar Mills of Kissan group on April 7, Hamza Sugar Mills on April 8 and three others in the sugar scam. The owners of these sugar groups will be summoned at the later stage,” an official source told Dawn.
The FIA has recently detected Rs110 billion earning by the sugar mafia during the last one year through ‘speculative pricing’ and it initiated action against those involved in it.
Meanwhile, the FIA has frozen over 400 bank accounts of 40 satta-agents (speculators). “We are receiving evidence in bulk and registered FIRs against them and 40 pricing manipulators. And once we get the report of forensic evidence, arrests will be made,” he said.
On the information of the FIA Lahore that 37 satta-agents have been working in Karachi, it (FIA Karachi) arrested some seven satta-agents.
“The black money has reportedly been used in the business of speculative pricing and the 10 major sugar groups from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Hasalpur and Bahawalpur are involved in this crime,” he said.
As many as 40 speculative pricing manipulators were booked booked by FIA under sections 420, 468, 471 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), read with sections 3/4 of Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 and their connections with these sugar groups. The FIA Lahore in November last had also registered cases against Jahangir Tareen, his son Ali Tareen, Shehbaz Sharif, his sons Hamza and Suleman in the sugar scam under money laundering, fraud and other charges but made no attempt to arrest them. Tareen and Hamza did join the investigation but Shehbaz had sought time to respond to its queries in this regard.
The FIA had also investigated Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar and his family members in the sugar scam however it has yet to give them a clean chit.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2021