LAHORE: Widening its probe into the multi-billion sugar scam, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated action against two mills in which federal minister Khusro Bakhtiar and his family members have major shares.
The Lahore FIA on Thursday summoned the heads of accounts and sales of the Two-Star Sugar Mills and Alliance Sugar Mills, owned by Rahim Yar Khan sugar group related to Mr Bhaktiar and his family members for April 15 and 16, respectively.
“The investigation against Mr Bakhtiar and his family members’ related sugar mills has been launched after their alleged links with the sugar pricing manipulators (satta-agents) surfaced,” an official told Dawn.
When asked whether Mr Bakhtiar or any of his family members had been summoned or sent questionnaires in this regard, the official said: “At this stage a questionnaire has been sent to the sugar mills allegedly involved in sugar pricing manipulation and their top officials have been summoned.”
The call-up notices to the heads of accounts and sales of these two mills say “the investigation teams of FIA have recovered humungous digital/other evidence which reveals that management of sugar mills in active connivance with brokers/frontmen has morphed into a sugar satta-mafia which is ramping-up sugar prices dishonestly and fraudulently through a clandestine network cheating and defrauding the consumers. Evidence reveals that your sugar mills is no exception and is knitted closely with the satta mafia.”
The mills officials have been asked to present actual record of sugar stocks, total production capacity, total sugar sold in 2020-21, details of all commission agents, procedure for forward booking, list of bank accounts, inward and onward remittances, etc.
An investigation against Khusru Bakhtiar for allegedly accumulating assets worth billions as a public office-holder is also pending with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore.
During his tenure as chairman of the Rahim Yar Khan district council and as federal minister, Mr Bakhtiar’s assets significantly multiplied.
Earlier, the NAB had informed the Lahore High Court on a petition that inquiries against Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar and his brother provincial minister Hashim Jawan Bakht into allegations of amassing assets beyond known sources of income were underway and would be completed soon.
The FIA has also summoned former secretary general of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and sugar baron Jahangir Tareen, his son Ali Tareen in connection with the sugar scam for Friday (today).
Top officials of Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz’s Ramzan Sugar Mills, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and other Sharif family members’ Chaudhry Sugar Mills and three other mills appeared before the FIA and sought a few days to reply to all queries of the FIA.
Meanwhile, the FIA also summoned the heads of accounts and sales of the Chanar Sugar Mills of Kiyani group and Hussain Sugar Mills of Hussain group for April 13, Itehad Sugar Mills of Itehad group and Kashmir Sugar Mills of Al-Shafi group for April 14.
Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2021