LAHORE: Top officials of sugar mills owned Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s estranged leader Jahangir Khan Tareen and Sharif family did not join the ‘sugar scam’ investigation being carried out by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The FIA had summoned Tareen’s JDW Sugar Mills chief operating officer Rana Naseem Ahmed Khan, who remained former commissioner of Lahore, and chief financial officer and head of sales of Maryam Nawaz and Sharif family’s Chaudhry Sugar Mills for Thursday (April 1).
“Rana Naseem Ahmed Khan did not join the investigation even after securing interim bail while there was no response from the Chaudhry Sugar Mills top officials,” an official told Dawn. Khan sought a week from the FIA to join the investigation.
On Wednesday FIA had registered two more FIRs against Jahangir Tareen and his family members for their alleged involvement in money laundering and fraud amounting over Rs5 billion in the sugar scam.
JDW employee gets pre-arrest bail
The FIA has summoned the chief financial officers (CFOs) and heads of sales of eight major sugar groups for different dates this month.
Meanwhile, the FIA recorded the statements of three more satta-agents (sugar pricing manipulators).
“Satta-agent Waqaq Ashraf said the Hamza Sugar Mills of Mian Tayyab, Hunza (Sewera) Sugar Mills, Mirpur Sugar Mills, Faran Sugar Mills, Alnur Sugar Mills, Madina Sugar Mills of Kissan group, SGM Sugar Mills and Sindbad Sugar Mills were involved in forward booking and pricing manipulation,” the official said.
“Other satta-agents – Aslam Bhali and Mahmood Bhali – in collusion with Tandliawala Sugar Mills, Two-Star Sugar Mills, JDW Sugar Mills, Kashmir Sugar Mills and Hamza Sugar Mills did pricing manipulation,” he said.
Pre-arrest bail: A special court for banking offences on Thursday granted interim pre-arrest bail to chief operating officer of JDW sugar mills, owned by estranged leader of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Jahangir Khan Tareen.
Sugar mills COO Rana Naseem Ahmad and 14 others were booked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the FIRs in connection with a mega sugar scam, also carrying charges of money laundering and fraud.
The suspects appeared before the court along with their lawyers.
The counsel argued that the petitioners had no role in the alleged offences and were ready to join the investigation, but there were apprehensions they could be arrested.
The court allowed bail to the petitioners subject to surety bonds and restrained the FIA from arresting them.
The court sought replies from the agency at the next hearing on April 7. Other petitioners include Khurram Shahzad, Muhammad Zaheer, Akram Bhalli and Mehmood Akhtar.
The FIA had summoned Mr Ahmed, also a former commissioner of Lahore, along with a record of the amounts he received from the mills’ funds in the last five years, foreign currency he purchased and transfer of money abroad, besides his assets etc.
The agency also booked Mr Tareen, his son Ali Tareen, son-in-law and others in the multiple FIRs.
However, they are yet to join the investigation despite being summoned six times.
Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2021