LAHORE: A local court in Lahore on Saturday issued a bailable arrest warrant for Moonis Elahi — a close aide of incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan — in a case relating to money laundering.
According to an order issued by Special Court (Central-I), Lahore judge Justice Abdul Sattar Langah, “In interest of justice, the instant application moved by the police officer is accepted and the bailable warrant of arrest of Rs100,000 is issued against the accused Monis Elahi, under Section 90 (a) CrPC for the date fixed i.e. 11/10/2023”.
The special court issued the arrest warrant for Moonis — who has been living abroad for the past couple of months — over non-compliance with the court summons.
At the outset of today’s hearing, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) investigation officer apprised the court that the suspect was avoiding receiving the summons.
In a written statement submitted in the court, the FIA said, the report regarding the service of summons of “accused Moonis Elahi S/O Parvaiz Elahi to the extent of his address in England has been received through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the same is annexed with the application.”
It added, “As per reports regarding service of summons in the name of accused Moonis Elahi s/o Pervaiz Elahi through MOFA of his address in Spain it was reported that nobody was available on those addresses. So far as report received from England it is again found that the accused avoided to receive the summons.”
The FIA pleaded with the court to issue a warrant of arrest for Moonis, in the light of the report received from the MOFA regarding the service of summons. Subsequently, the Lahore court approved the FIA’s request and issued a bailable arrest warrant for Moonis.
According to media reports, Moonis left for Spain in the last week of December 2022, and he is still living there “to avoid political victimisation in the country”.
Earlier this week, an accountability court in Lahore issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Moonis over allegedly receiving kickbacks in development projects.
Judge Naseem Ahmad Virk issued the non-bailable arrest warrants for Moonis at the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
According to the FIR, a probe against Moonis under the Money Laundering Act was started in 2020.
The FIR further said that the report by the Sugar Commission said that Moonis was allegedly involved in money laundering.
Former prime minister Imran Khan had tasked the FIA to investigate the sugar crisis throughout the country and find out who benefited from it.
Subsequently, a report by the agency claimed that top PTI members as well as Moonis were among those who had allegedly gained from the sugar crisis in the country.
FIA sources said that "sufficient evidence" had been collected against Moonis after which the agency decided to formally start an investigation against him.