Who contributed to PTI’s prohibited funds?

Published August 2, 2022
<p>Foreign currency banknotes are seen in this picture illustration.—Reuters</p>

Foreign currency banknotes are seen in this picture illustration.—Reuters

In a case that dragged on for more than seven years, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled on Tuesday that the PTI had indeed received funding from prohibited sources.

The ECP has concluded that the PTI “knowingly received and accepted” donations from 351 foreign companies and 34 foreign nationals via two limited liability companies (LLCs) based in the US, in violation of Pakistani law, as well as from various other prohibited sources in Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries.

Here’s a list of prohibited funding sources listed in the ECP judgement.

US-based LLCs

According to the ECP judgement, the PTI received a total of $549,000 from one of its LLCs, 6160, in the US between May 2013 to April 2013. Of this, $70,960 were contributed by foreign nationals and companies, amounting to prohibited funding.

Through this LLC, 21 foreign nationals gave $16,205 to the PTI and 120 foreign companies gave $54,755 to the party.

A breakdown of the donors is as follows:

From another US-based LLC, 5975, the PTI received and accepted donations worth $1,976,500, with contributions being made 13 foreign nationals and 231 US-based companies.

A breakdown of funds from each donor has not been provided by this LLC.

However, it shared with the ECP a list of its donors, which is as follows:

Funds from Canada

The ECP found that between 2018 and 2013, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Canada Corporation — a company based in Canada — transferred large sums to different PTI accounts.

Regarding this company, the ECP said in its ruling: “The commission repeatedly kept on emphasising upon the PTI to make full disclosure about the source of funding. However, the PTI, taking shelter of the Canadian Privacy laws, continued to deny this commission full access to the source of its accounts. The party throughout held that these funds were donated by the PTI Canada, which is a non-profit entity. In none of its disclosures the PTI shared information that the PTI Canada is registered in Canada as a corporation. By not making full disclosure, the PTI has committed acts of willful concealment, misstatement and misrepresentation of facts.”

Following sums were transferred to the PTI’s accounts via PTI Canada.

Funds from UK

Moreover, the ECP said it also found that the PTI had received funds via the PTI UK, a private limited company based in England, in violation of Pakistani laws.

A total of $792,265 were received by the PTI via the England based-company between 2008 and 2013.

Transfers from Singapore

The ECP also declared an amount of $27,500 was transferred by two individuals, namely Nasser Aziz and Romita Shetty, to the PTI from their accounts in Singapore.

Among them, Aziz is a US national of Pakistani origin while Shetty is a US-based business woman of Indian origin, the ECP said, adding that both of them had made joint contributions to the PTI.

“The donation of $13,750 by Ms Romita Shetty falls under the category of prohibited contribution,” the ECP said.

Funding from Wootton Cricket Ltd and elsewhere

Moreover, the PTI received $2,151,500 from Arif Naqvi’s Wootton Cricket Limited, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, a sum of $49,965 from Dubai-based Bristol Engineering, Rs504,250 from Australia’s Dupnec Pty Ltd and other companies.

Read: Cricket club disclosure haunts PTI funding case

These also included Anwar Brothers, Zain Cotton Pvt Ltd and M/S Young Sports.

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