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Saturday Apr 06 2019

Fake accounts case: Pakistan seeks Canada's help to repatriate Younas Kudwavi

Younas Kudwavi is facing the charge of issuing illegal allotment letter on properties registered for a temple and library. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has sought the help of Canadian authorities to repatriate Younas Kudwavi, one of prime accused in the National Accountability Bureau's fake accounts case, officials said on Friday.

“We through concerned authorities [FIA & JIT] have sought the help of Canada for repatriation of Younis Kudwai. He [Kudwai] holds Canadian nationality,” a senior NAB official said. “According to the joint investigative team’s confidential volume 25, Kudwavi is the centre charter through whom huge amounts of money was embezzled abroad. Kudwavi employed more than a dozen “cash boys” who had a close nexus with “Zardari System” to deposit estimated Rs3 billion into fake accounts case.”

The official further said, “Fourteen cash carriers [boys] have either deposited or withdrawn billions of rupees into fake accounts which were later shifted to Dubai. Among those are Muhammad Umair, an absconder presently working with KAM Crown LLC UAE, who deposited/withdrew Rs669 million into fake accounts, Mr Jagdesh who deposited/withdrew Rs326 million, Tariq Sultan who deposited/withdrew Rs288 million, Sajid Hussain who deposited/withdrew Rs242 million, Mushtaq Mehar who deposited/withdrew Rs240 million, Asad Ali who deposited/withdrew Rs216 million.”

“Syed Irfan Rizvi who deposited/withdrew Rs166 million, Adnan Javed who deposited/withdrew Rs168 million, Muhammad Naeem who deposited/withdrew Rs133 million, Hasan Brohi who deposited/withdrew Rs96 million, Shabbir Wazeer who deposited/withdrew Rs73 million, Iqbal Arain who deposited/withdrew Rs83 million, Arif Khan who deposited/withdrew Rs66 million, Qasim Ali who deposited/withdrew Rs8 million, Umar Hayat who deposited/withdrew Rs50 million, Muhammad Ashraf who deposited/withdrew Rs41 million, Muhammad Farhan who deposited/withdrew Rs42 million, Gulzar Ahmed who deposited/withdrew Rs40 million and Muhammad Irfan who deposited Rs13 million into fake accounts,” revealed a member NAB Combined Investigation Team who is familiar with the content of Volume 25 of JIT.

Younis Kudwai was heading these carriers, added the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Moreover, funds worth Rs6.1 billion were channelised through fake accounts, originated from Bahria Town (Rs3 billion) and included contribution from amounts given to Omni Group of Companies for revival of sick industrial units, loans given to M/s Rubicon Developers Ltd, a company owned by Younas Kudwavi with kickbacks received in fake accounts from various government contractors, revealed the NAB CIT official citing reference of chapter five of volume 25.

Kudwavi an important business partner of former president Asif Ali Zardari, helped him to obtain loans worth Rs1 billion from Sindh Bank for M/s Rubicon Builders Ltd in 2014, another official of NAB revealed.

However, these funds were diverted from the stated purpose and routed through various fake accounts through multiple split transactions, he further claimed. Evidence pertaining to close nexus between Kudwavi and Zardari has been clubbed in four chapters of confidential volume, the official said.

Kudwai, who fled away from Pakistan also owned M/s Parthenon Ltd which entered into a joint venture with M/s Park Lane Ltd, a company owned by Zardari Group in October 2009, the official added.

The NAB investigators further said, one of the directors Iqbal Noori in his revealed that Kudwavi was controlling the affairs of M/s Parthenon Pvt Ltd from 2009 – 2013.

However, two PPP leaders have vehemently denied any illegal business nexus between the Zardari Group and Kudwavi. The two PPP leaders did not further give any details and said the matter is in the court of law now.

The investigators added, the company had no collaterals of its own and was hence a mere paper company (shell) which acted as a front company of M/s Park Lane to borrow huge loan of total Rs2.4 billion (straw-borrower) within one month of its creation in 2009-10. Kudwavi and his father Rehmatullah Habib also had 25 per cent share in M/s Park Lane Ltd.

The NAB and JIT investigation further revealed that two companies according to an agreement Parthenon was to pay an Rs1 billion and an additional Rs500 million to Park Lane (as security) out of the total sanctioned loan of Rs2.4 billion. Investigators further revealed that M/s Parathon Ltd transferred first tranche of Rs1.5 billion to M/s Park Lane Ltd on October 30, 2009.

This amount of loan was taken out in cash (misappropriated) by Park Lane through various cash transactions within less than two (02) months and never shown in their tax returns and books of accounts, revealed the findings. The apparent connivance of NBP and the consortium in sanctioning the huge Rs2.4 billion loan to a front company (M/s Parthenon) within a month of its incorporation, with no business experience of its own.

Investigators also said that the transactions in the UAE bank accounts of M/s KAM Crown International suggested that Kudwavi was facilitating Arif Khan, CFO of KAM Crown in credits through some two dozen entities based in UAE. Some significant of these companies were Ali and Sons, Hopeway General Trading LLC, Amama International Ltd, M Azhar Technical Contracting LLC, Powertech Electronics, Power Equity Investments, Al-Nab General Trading LLC, Ayadah Trading LLC and Thara Trading companies which were being handled by Aslam Masood and Arif Khan in collaboration of Kudwavi.

A reference in misappropriation of prime amenity plots in Clifton Karachi has been filed where NAB claimed that misappropriation of prime urban amenity land for library and ‘Mandir’ to one Nadeem Ahmed Khan was done by Kudwavi and another prime land reserved for a public gymnasium. Prime lands were illegally allotted by KDA through Kudwai.

The accountability watchdog will now file a reference against Zardari, Kudwavi and co-accused bank officials in the accountability court soon.