Wednesday Oct 18, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has invested billions of rupees abroad in recent years, a key factor that would determine his fate in an ongoing graft case being heard by the Islamabad accountability court.
Dar made the investment during his private adventures in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), raising doubts about the legitimacy of this huge sum of money, revealed a fresh investigation report prepared by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
“The accused [Mr Dar] acquired number of assets abroad [UAE] in his own name and in the name of family members—made investments in certain companies and earned profits on those investments—the accused is yet to establish the legitimacy of amounts invested in these companies,” revealed a 14-page interim investigation report.
The corruption watchdog, under the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) laws, sought the assistance of the UAE's Department of International Cooperation working under the ministry of Justice to approach the concerned quarters in order to obtain ownership/registration record of several bank accounts, companies, properties and investments for the logical conclusion of fresh investigation.
A combined investigation team remains in UAE to probe the source of investing $1, 250 in Baraq Holding Ltd, Dubai, $1, 250 in Dar Al-Nahayan Pvt. Ltd, UAE, 5.5 million Pounds in Baraq Holdings, UAE, Ltd, AED101 million in Flat No E-144 Hajvery Villa, Emirates Hill, Dubai, AED898,000 in Apartment No 3204, Palm Jumairah Beach, UAE, AED5,800,001 in Bentlay Amage (F-6373) and AED3,200,001 in Mercedes, IF-26381.
Investigators are also probing source of investments by Dar in HOS Tower, Dubai, UAE, giving loans worth 4.9 million Pounds to his sons Ali Mustafa Dar and Mujtaba Husnain Dar, putting a huge sum of amount (yet to be determined) in First Gulf Bank UAE (having lqama No1935900) and Bank Account of Dubai Islamic Bank UAE (having lqama No1935900).
“The trail of investments in these companies and accusations of assets through MLA is under process and would be covered through supplementary report,” revealed the investigation report submitted before the trial court.
The NAB team also requested the government of UAE to “interview of Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak, federal minister of the government of UAE as a witness”.
The investigation report further revealed that Dar had assets worth Rs9,112,718 in 1993-94 and it increased to Rs831,678,875 in 2008-09.
During this period, the assets of Dar increased by approximately 91 times as found out by the JIT while his income tax return for 2008-09 showed an income of Rs729,347, whereas his return for 2015-16 shows an income of Rs46,462,272.
Multiple requests, the investigation report revealed, under MLA are under process to investigate investment of $2,500 in two different companies i.e. Baraq Holding Pvt. Ltd and Dar Al-Nahayan Pvt. Ltd, claims to work as Advisor to Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak from 2002 to 2008 and remittances from UAE worth Rs627 Million received from 2006-2016 by Dar, who also gave an amount of 4.97 million Pounds as a loan to his sons for establishing their business in Dubai.
Investigators are also probing assets of Dar's two sons—Ali Dar and Mujtaba Dar and Asma Nawaz Sharif (wife of Ali Dar) established in Dubai. The combined team is also probing in regards to as to why did Dar give ‘Qarz-e-Hasna’, amounting to Rs4,210,000, to Raja Sarfraz Ahmad, Ehsan Ghani, Shoaib Ahmad and Mohammad Nawaz in different years.
Efforts are being made out to trace these persons to record their statements about this claim.
The investigators are also probing investment worth Rs3.5 million into Hajveri Holding (Pvt) Ltd, Rs1.1 million into Hajveri Madarba Management Company (Pvt) Ltd, Rs5 million in HDS Securities (Pvt) Ltd, Rs0.3 million in CNG Pakistan Ltd, Rs10,000 in Gulf Insurance Company Ltd, Rs98,000 in Core Chemicals (Pvt) Ltd, Rs2,700 in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd, Rs120 million in NIT Units, Rs325 million in PIBs and Rs150 million in Mutual Fund of Al-Falah GHP.
About closure of the earlier investigation by NAB, the fresh investigation report prepared by investigation officer Nadir Abbas Jam revealed: “An investigation against lshaq Dar was initiated in the year 2000 which was subsequently closed on July 15, 2016, on the basis of material collected till 2007-06, and does not include the galloping increase of income identified by [Panama] JIT. The perusal of JIT report revealed that there has been enormous growth in the income of the accused person from the year 2008-09 to 2015-16 coupled with 91 times increase in assets during the period 1993-94 to 2008-09 — the accused received huge remittances of Rs 627/- Million from 2007 to 2015."
"The JIT report further alleged that amounts of Rs169.276 million shown as donation were actually made to his own charities and these funds were kept in his own access.”
Dar did not respond to a questionnaire containing 42 questions sent to him and he was given one last opportunity to appear and record his version but he never responded, revealed the report which is based on numerous letters written by NAB investigators to different quarters (Election Commission of Pakistan, Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue, State Bank of Pakistan, Excise & Taxation Departments and different Banks, etc) to procure records in support of Panama JIT findings for instant investigation.
The investigation with reference to the record yet to be received will also be covered in supplementary report/reference. Ends: