Vohra joined PSP to influence money-laundering probe: Merchant

Merchant said that he has provided all evidence to the FIA

Wadood Mushtaq

LONDON: Sarfraz Merchant a former associate of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder has alleged that Farooq Sattar and some leaders of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) are still in connection with MQM-London.

During an interview Merchant claimed that Karachi Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra, who switched over his loyalties to PSP a few days back, was involved in money-laundering for the MQM and Scotland Yard sent him requests to visit London for interviews, but he chose not to enter London while the investigation was on.

Merchant said that Vohra has sought shelter with the PSP to get relief in the money-laundering FIR that has been registered by the FIA in Karachi on the complaint of Sarfraz Merchant. “It’s unethical that Vohra has jumped ship and seeking to get dry-cleaned to subvert the course of justice. This happened after I registered the FIR." 

Sarfraz Merchant who divides his time between London and Karachi, said that money transferred to the UK either by banks or Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF) was generated from the bank account of Arshad Vohra and bank statements are a proof.

Merchant said that he has provided all evidence to the FIA and that’s the basis of the investigation. He said that several MQM-Pakistan leaders were involved in money-laundering and used their personal bank accounts for this purpose. He claimed that transfer of money continued after the MQM founder's August 22 speech last year. He said bills of London office and fees of lawyers were paid from Pakistan.

Merchant added that Farooq Sattar was also involved in sending money to London. However, Sattar has denied the allegation in a press conference but agreed that Vohra quit MQM after the FIR was registered.

Sarfraz Merchant said he was the only one who challenged British courts over his arrest in the money-laundering case linked to the MQM founder. “My hands were clean. I challenged Scotland Yard to court for being arrested on money-laundering suspicion. I spent thousands of pounds to take police to the court to prove that I have been wrongly accused of a crime which I did not commit. I also disclosed truth that was related to the economy and security of Pakistan before courts. I was cleared by the police because my money was clean.”

Sarfraz Merchant said he regretted that he donated money to MQM. “I have been involved with the MQM, and I have been donating money to the MQM, but I admit that publicly and I am regretful. I was living under illusions at that time and what I did was wrong, but I am not trying to dry-clean myself.”

Sarfraz Merchant said he will continue to cooperate with the FIA in the money-laundering. Sarfraz Merchant has hired a lawyer in London who is dealing with the money-laundering FIR registered in Karachi and currently liaising with the Scotland Yard.

Originally published in The News