KARACHI, Oct 30: International Boxing Association (AIBA) chief, Anwar Chowdhry has once again come under fire after being charged with receiving kickbacks and asked to disclose the source of money in his Swiss bank account by an AIBA executive committee member.
Although there are a number of questions raised by AIBA executive committee member, Rudel Obreja in his letters to Chowdhry, a withdrawal of $350,000 by the AIBA president from a Swiss bank is the major issue among them.
The recent allegations are the second incident involving Chowdhry who came into limelight just two days ago for violating AIBA’s financial regulations.
According to letter dated Feb 23, 2006 obtained by Dawn, Chowdhry had asked Eduard Leopold of Zurich-based UBS Bank to transfer $350,000 (21,000,000 Pak rupees approximately) to his daughter Sonia Shakeel’s bank account in Karachi.
“Sonia has bought a property in Karachi and to fulfil her financial obligations she will be needing $350,000 out of our joint account. This money should be transferred into her local account in Union Bank, Karachi in 10 instalments of $35,000 every month starting from March 15, 2006. First transfer should be made on March 15, 2006 and last in December 2006,” AIBA chief wrote to the Swiss bank.
Interestingly, both the Swiss bank and Union Bank account number 6103-146195-050 are joint accounts operated by Chowdhry and his daughter.
On Sept 28, 2006, Obreja through a letter, asked Chowdhry as to how he managed to accumulate such wealth in a Swiss bank account, although he has been retired for the last 20 years and has no major source of income.
“You have been retired for the last 20 years. Since you have no source of income, how can you have such amount of money? If you have earned this money through legal means, in which country have you earned this money and how much tax have you paid? Have you notified the Ministry of Finance of Pakistan about it? Have you paid tax to Pakistan (government)? When did you open the account in UBS?” Obreja asked the AIBA chief through the letter.
Objreja, also the president of Romanian Boxing Federation, took a swipe at Chowdhry’s son-in-law Shakeel Durrani, asking about details of his source of income too. Sonia’s husband, Shakeel, who is also the member of AIBA executive committee, was appointed by Chowdhry as secretary of AIBA’s Referee/Judge Commission in 2002.
“What is the occupation of your son-in-law (anyhow he was employed in AIBA as your wheelchair driver). From where does his income come? How does he meet the expenses of the villa he lives in now, private cars for him and his wife, their drivers and children attending the American School? What is his annual revenue? Does he pay taxes in Pakistan or does he pay the allowances of such expenses by means of your joint accounts at UBS,” the Romanian official asked.
Obreja even dubbed Chowdhry a “liar” for hiding the facts about $100,000 he received from an unknown source. “I have already told you that you are a liar. Who gave you the $100,000 and have you entered the amount in the records of AIBA? And if you paid the money to whom did you pay it back?” the official questioned.
However, more astonishing is the fact that Chowdhry, also the chairman of Pakistan Boxing Federation, had requested UBS Bank to transfer the money through a letter using AIBA letterhead.
In a letter dated Oct 13, 2006, Obreja questioned Chowdhry as to why he used AIBA letterhead to transfer the money from UBS Bank to his daughter’s account in Karachi. Interestingly, AIBA also operates its accounts through UBS.
Obreja also suspected Chowdhry and son-in-law Shakeel of receiving kickbacks from a Pakistani sports goods manufacturing company, Green Hill. The reason of suspicion was the exchange of several messages between Shakeel and the Green Hill officials.
“Dear Tasadak. Jahangir (one of company officials) told me yesterday that you are sending me 200,000 now and 100,000 in a few days. Please send me immediately as we are waiting for them badly,” Shakeel wrote to Green Hill on Nov 8, 2002 in an e-mail with Philippines L/C Order as the subject.
“Mr Durrani has stated in the e-mail that he will receive 200,000 and that he is waiting for the remaining 100,000. He said we are waiting badly for them. To whom do you think Mr Durrani intends as “we”. As his father-in-law did you ask Durrani about his relations with Green Hill?
“Durrani seems to be asking for his money as his share. Are you one of the shareholders? Are you receiving commission? Is Green Hill is the source of money you have in UBS Bank? If you claim that the e-mail was forged then I will request investigation of computer IP number from Ministry of Telecommunication of Pakistan,” Obreja challenged Chowdhry.
He also asked Chowdhry to answer the questions raised by him directly instead of replying through close aides Agajan Abiyev, the president of Azerbaijan Boxing Federation and others.
“AIBA and IOC members have the right to learn about the source, amounts and taxation of the money you have. Answer my questions or let’s discuss all this at IOC and CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport),” Obreja wrote.
Chowdhry and Shakeel, who are in Santa Domingo to attend the AIBA meetings and its elections, were not available for comments.