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Friday Sep 20 2019

Baldia factory fire: Owners reveal details of extortion

Owners say a well-known party leader had allegedly demanded extortion of Rs200 million through his frontman. Photo: File 

DUBAI: The owners of the Ali Enterprises garments factory Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila have recorded their testimonies in the premises of Pakistan Consulate Dubai via video link to the Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi.

In one of the longest hearing that lasted about nine hours that started at 9am and concluded around 6pm in the evening, one of the owners Arshad Bhaila reached Dubai from Europe, while Shahid Bhaila came from Canada to recoded his version, sources said.

According to the diplomatic sources, the factory owners in Baldia Town recorded the same statements which they had made before the members of the joint investigation team (JIT) in the consulate in October 2015.

The JIT report revealed that a well-known party leader had allegedly demanded extortion of Rs200 million through his frontman from the factory owners in August 2012.

After recording the statements and testimonies, the judge sitting in Karachi crossed examined the owners in almost a three hours session.

Moreover, an identification parade was also carried out through the video link where Bhaila brothers identified almost all the accused.

“The statements of the factory owners have completely been recorded and the case would soon reach its logical conclusion”, the owners of the factory were hopeful after the hearing in the consulate with the diplomatic staff.

Around 260 people were killed and dozens injured as a fire ravaged through the Ali Enterprises factory, owned by the Bhaila brothers, in Baldia Town on September 11, 2012.

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