Pakistan

£190m settlement case: Imran Khan 'placed on ECL'

PTI chairman has been facing infamous £190 million settlement case related to transfer of money from NCA

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
May 29, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021. — Reuters
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021. — Reuters


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's name has been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) in the light of the £190 million settlement case, sources told Geo News Monday.

The former prime minister — who had been ousted via a vote of no-confidence last year — has been facing a slew of cases including the infamous £190 million settlement case related to the transfer of multi-million pounds from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), in which his wife Bushra Bibi is also an accused.

Khan had been arrested by the Rangers from Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises earlier this month in the same case, which triggered countrywide violent protests.

The sources said that Khan's name has been put on the no-fly list as per the recommendation of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi, after the federal cabinet's approval for the circular summary.

They said that the decision to place the former first lady's name on the ECL has been taken and the anti-graft watchdog will write to the Interior Ministry in this regard.

'No plans to travel abroad': Imran Khan

It may be noted that the names of Khan and Bushra Bibi, along with over 600 PTI leaders and former assembly members had been added to the no-fly list as per the Federal Investigation Authority's (FIA) orders for alleged involvement in the May 9 violence.

However, the former premier, after being restricted from leaving the country thanked the government for doing so and said that he had no plans to travel abroad.

Citing reasons behind his plans, Khan said he neither has "any properties or businesses abroad nor even a bank account outside the country."

However, if he does get an opportunity to go for a holiday, Khan said he will choose the country's northern mountains terming the sites as his "favourite place on earth."

Thousands of party workers and leaders were arrested during the crackdown on the PTI on May 9 for allegedly inciting the riots that claimed at least 8 lives and injured dozens of others.

The £190 million settlement case

The PTI chairman is facing charges of corruption of billions of rupees in a case involving a property tycoon.

Khan — along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders — is facing a NAB inquiry related to a settlement between the PTI government and the property tycoon, which reportedly caused a loss of £190 million to the national exchequer.

As per the charges, Khan and other accused allegedly adjusted Rs50 billion — £190 million at the time — sent by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to the Pakistani government as part of the agreement with the property tycoon.

They are also accused of getting undue benefit in the form of over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, to establish Al Qadir University.

During the PTI government, United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) seized assets worth 190 million pounds from the property tycoon in Britain.

The agency said the assets would be passed to the government of Pakistan and the settlement with the Pakistani property tycoon was “a civil matter, and does not represent a finding of guilt”.

Subsequently, then-prime minister Khan got approval of the settlement with the UK crime agency from his cabinet on December 3, 2019, without disclosing the details of the confidential agreement.

It was decided that the money would be submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the tycoon.

Subsequently, the Al-Qadir Trust was established in Islamabad a few weeks after the PTI-led government approved the agreement with the property tycoon.

PTI leaders Zulfi Bukhari, Babar Awan, Bushra Bibi, and her close friend Farah Khan were appointed as members of the trust.

Two to three months after the cabinet’s approval, the property tycoon transferred 458 canals of land to Bukhari, a close aide of the PTI chief, which he later transferred to the trust.

Later, Bukhari and Awan opted out as the trustees. That trust is now registered in the name of Khan, Bushra Bibi and Farah.

NAB officials were earlier probing the alleged misuse of powers in the process of recovery of “dirty money” received from the UK crime agency.

Following the emergence of "irrefutable evidence" in the case, the inquiry was converted into an investigation.

According to the NAB officials, Khan and his wife obtained land worth billions of rupees from the property tycoon, to build an educational institute, in return for striking a deal to give legal cover to the property tycoon’s black money received from the UK crime agency.


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