LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched a probe into foreign properties of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s estranged leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, directing him to provide it with complete detail and money trail in this regard on Tuesday (today) without failing.
“It appears every time Mr Tareen shows a good number of PTI lawmakers with him, he invites more trouble in the form of FIA action. So far the open support of some 30 PTI lawmakers -- 22 MPAs and eight MNAs -- has not proved fruitful as those close to Prime Minister Imran Khan managed to give Mr Tareen’s move colour of blackmail,” a source in the PTI told Dawn on Monday.
These lawmakers last week had formally submitted a request to the premier to give them an audience on a single-point agenda -- “no victimisation of Mr Tareen”.
“Imran Khan has so far shown no intention to meet with these rebel lawmakers as he never succumbs to any pressure from anyone,” he said and added that “Tareen saga” had more layers to unfold.
On Monday, the FIA directed Mr Tareen to either appear in person or send his chief financial officer to submit the record of his and his family members’ foreign assets and the money trail. The FIA sought detail of his family-owned 12-acre Hyde-House in Newbury, Hampshire, UK.
It also asked him to provide a complete detail of his and his family members’ assets anywhere in the world. “Whether these assets have been declared in the FBR or not? The details should include a complete description of assets, location, mode and cost of acquisition, along with a money trail,” a call-up notice to Mr Tareen said.
The agency has also sought from him the detail of independent valuation report of JKFSL assets, annual audited financial statement of JDW, detail of 35,000 acres of JKFSL farms and utilisation of Rs3.14bn JDW’s advances – converted into JDW’s equity investments – to FMPL.
The FIA warned Mr Tareen that “non-compliance of this call-up notice and continued failure to produce the relevant record, despite repeated requests since August 2020, will entail that the omission is deliberate and investigation will proceed on the basis of documentary evidence available on record.”
The FIA last month had registered two FIRs against Jahangir Tareen and his son Ali Tareen under Rs5 billion money laundering and fraud charges in the sugar ‘scam’. Both are on interim bail till April 17.
Punjab chief minister’s aviser Abdul Haye Dasti disclosed on Monday that some elements wanted “arrest of Tareen at any cost”. “WhatsApp messages are coming, demanding that Mr Tareen should be behind bars at any cost,” he told a private TV channel. Naming adviser to the premier, Shahzad Akbar and Principal Secretary to PM Azam Khan in this episode, Dasti said: “Everyone has a problem with the duo”.
Talking to reporters, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz said: “Imran Khan could not see the sugar mafia when he was using money and plane of Mr Tareen, and now he is accusing the sugar baron of scam.”
Earlier, Mr Tareen had called for a transparent inquiry into the allegations of fraud and money laundering against him.
“Form a fair and noncontroversial investigation team, which could meet the requirements of justice and doesn’t follow instructions given to it on telephone calls,” the PTI’s former secretary general had demanded and alleged that the FIRs against him were originally drafted in Islamabad and later handed over to the investigation team in Lahore through a USB flash drive.
Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2021