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Monday May 31 2021

PM Imran Khan directs FIA to go for decisive action against sugar millers

Prime Minister Imran Khan. File photo

  • PM Imran Khan directs agencies to launch action against sugar millers.
  • Asks Shahzad Akbar to submit conclusive report within a month.
  • FIA team updates Shahzad Akbar on cases filed against industrialists.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has given go-ahead to investigators for decisive action against owners of 38 sugar mills, a fresh move where the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) may arrest a few millers who have already faced money laundering, sugar satta and insider trading charges.

Premier Khan advised his Special Assistant on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar to direct the FIA Lahore to submit its conclusive report on millers within the next four weeks, informed officials told Geo News on Sunday.

“We are going for decisive action against the owners of three sugar mills groups. We have already acquired sufficient evidence against them,” claimed a member of the FIA Sugar Scam Probe team. “We cannot disclose our strategy further,” added the official who was also familiar with the briefing given to Akbar on the sugar scam probe.

The FIA investigation team briefed Akbar over the sugar probe progress with a particular focus on the ongoing investigation against JDW Group last Friday. The FIA probe team did a forensic audit of all accounts of JDW Group owned by Jahangir Khan Tareen. The team also examined the JKFSL valuation report, prepared by the audit company AF Ferguson & Co and all audited financial statements prepared by Kamran lqbal Yousafi FCA, KPMG-Taseer Hadi & Co-Chartered Accountants.

Presently, 14 FIRs of satta-driven artificial price hike have been registered by FIA teams. Six more FIRs would be lodged in the coming weeks. The FIA teams claimed to have evidence against 38 sugar mills leading to illicit gains and money-laundering of around Rs110 billion.

Three FIRs are of sophisticated corporate fraud/ breach of trust of shareholders leading to money-laundering of over Rs5 billion by JDW Group. "(Alleged) corporate fraud of Rs3.6 billion by JDW through the overvalued purchase of associated company JKT Farming System Ltd and booking losses through it," reads a document submitted before the federal cabinet, exclusively made available with Geo News. “[Alleged] corporate fraud of Rs3.1 billion by JDW through investment in Faruki Pulp Ltd and booking impairment losses through it -- inexplicable transfer of Rs2.5 billion by JDW through non-arm's cash transfers to various sister entities via Amir Waris cash boy -- inexplicable transfer of Rs7 billion by JDW to Dherki Sugar Mills (non-arm's cash transfers) without true and full disclosure in the financial statement," added the official document.

One FIR of organised banking fraud to cover illicit gains from extraneous sources (read corruption) of over Rs25 billion (2008 to 2018) through the operation of 20 bogus accounts in the name of peons/clerks of RSML (Ramzan Sugar Mills Ltd) leading to allegedly money-laundering/ shifting wealth abroad by Sharif (Shahbaz Sharif) family.

“[Alleged] corporate fraud by Al-Arabia Sugar Mills through GNC undisclosed (grantis) sales and accounting jugglery of reversal of sales -- inexplicable transfer of Rs1.195 billion by Al-Arabia to Ramzan Sugar Mills not disclosed in financial statements -- inexplicable transfer of Rs402 million by Al-Arabia to Sharif Feed Mills and Sharif D. Farms since 2017-18," the official document further read.

The FIA also got evidence in an ongoing investigation against the RYK Sugar Mills group, owned by Makhdum Omer Shehryar, brother of Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar. “Inexplicable cash transfer of Rs2.25 billion by Alliance Sugar Mills to Asad Hussain through CPVs not disclosed in financial statements (excess payment of Rs3.4 billion by Asad Hussain to the company)," the official document revealed.

Originally published in The News