Saturday Apr 17, 2021
LAHORE: PTI leader Jahangir Tareen says he has nothing to do with the rising price of sugar or the sugar mafia.
Talking to media outside a banking court in Lahore, where Tareen and his son Ali Tareen were granted an extension in interim bail till May 3, Tareen said there is constant talk of the sugar mafia and the price of sugar going up.
"I have nothing to do with the increase sugar price or the sugar mafia. No one said anything about a sugar case against Jahangir Tareen," he said.
He called for people to read the three FIRs against him, saying there is no mention of sugar in any of them or any allegation.
"All three FIRs did not mention the rise in the price of sugar, but the FIRs picked up things relating to my business from eight to 10 years ago," Tareen said.
Tareen said a a fictional story has been fabricated against him. "My documentation is clear and transparent. I pay my income tax every year. Mine and my family's accounts are with the income tax people," he said.
"Ask any businessman," the PTI leader said confidently, explaining that they [businessmen] would say that if Jahangir Tareen is not the most transparent, then who is?
Tareen repeated that an attempt is being made to tarnish his reputation.
He said everyone will find out the truth.
"I have not even been accused in any sugar-related case in a year-and-a-half," he said, adding that he is present in court to fight the cases against him.
He said he did not know who is "doing this" to him, but "someone is".
The PTI leader further said that he has not been to the Prime Minister House for more than a year-and-a-half.
A banking court in Lahore extended till May 3 the interim bail of Tareen and his son Ali Tareen in a money laundering case on Saturday.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) sent notices to the father and son on April 14 and summoned the record of all businesses of the PTI leader, including dairy farms.
His lawyer, however, argued that it was not possible to submit all record on a day’s notice, particularly due to the law and order situation.
He told the court that Jahangir Tareen and Ali Tareen will appear before the investigation agency on April 19. The court adjourned the hearing till May 3.
The father-son duo have been accused of money laundering and fraud, with one of the case's registered by the FIA amounting to alleged fraud of Rs3.14 billion.
An FIR states that Jahangir allegedly transferred illegal shares worth billions of rupees to Farooqi Pulp Mills Limited (FPML), which is owned by his son and close relatives.
It says the transfers, especially after 2011-12, were "patently fraudulent investments which ultimately translated into personal gains" for Jahangir's family. Some Rs3 billion were invested and laundered through the same factory.
Last year, PM Imran Khan had tasked the FIA to investigate the sugar crisis throughout the country and find out who benefited from it.
A report by the FIA released last year had claimed that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country.
Among the people named in the FIA report were Jahangir Tareen and a brother of the then Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar.
Tareen was said by the report to have benefited the most from the sugar crisis followed by Bakhtiar's brother.