Friday Apr 08 2022

Farah Khan hoarded over $0.24 million in cash: report

Farah Khan, a close friend of first lady Bushra Bibi. — Instagram/@f.khan211
Farah Khan, a close friend of first lady Bushra Bibi. — Instagram/@f.khan211

  • Farah Khan deposited $249,650 in cash from January to September 2021.
  • Farah failed to disclose source of her funds.
  • FIA served notice to Farah for alleged involvement in buying millions of dollars.

ISLAMABAD: At a time when the rupee was depreciating against the dollar, Farah Khan — who is also known as Farah Shahzadi and is a close friend of first lady Bushra Bibi — was reportedly buying dollars from the market and stocking them up in her foreign currency account.

During a period of nine months, from January to September 2021, Farah deposited $249,650 in cash, The News reported.

Farah failed to disclose the source of her funds and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) issued an inquiry notice against her for depositing a huge amount of foreign currency.

After four months, no progress was made in the investigation. Sources informed The News that the case was mysteriously put down as Farah had close connections with senior officials.

In October 2021, the FIA served notices to 100 individuals and decided to investigate those who were allegedly involved in buying millions of dollars from different exchange companies in Lahore and hoarded the money or laundered it to other countries. Farah was also one of those 100 individuals who were involved in hoarding or laundering dollars.

The News sent a questionnaire to FIA Lahore Region Director Dr Mohammad Rizwan, to which he replied, “Notices were given to 100 individuals who purchased USD in the last two years.” When he was asked specifically about Farah Khan’s case, Dr Rizwan said: “Specific details lie with the EO. I can check during office timing.”

After the Opposition leaders levelled serious allegations of corruption against Farah, The News carried out a probe. Investigation revealed that the wealth of Farah Khan grew exponentially within the first three years since the formation of Prime Minister Imran Khan's government. The total declared assets of Farah grew four times from Rs231 million in 2017 to Rs971 million in 2021.

Her declared assets before Imran Khan came into power were reported to be worth Rs231,635,297 (Rs231 million) in 2017. However, within the first three years of Imran Khan’s government, Farah bought several properties in different cities and made investments worth hundreds of millions of rupees in different business sectors.

It is important to note here that Farah Khan is the closest friend of prime minister’s wife Bushra Bibi. The brief ceremony of the marriage of Imran Khan with Bushra Bibi also took place at Farah’s residence.

Farah Khan, as per the documents, also availed whitening of black money scheme (Tax Amnesty Scheme) in 2019 during the PTI government and declared assets worth Rs328 million under the Tax Amnesty Scheme 2019.

The FIA Corporate Crime Circle Lahore on December 4, 2021, issued an inquiry notice No. CCC Circle/USD Inquiry/2020-21/534. Through this notice, Farah was asked to explain the source of funds for this foreign currency.

“FIA Corporate Crime Circle Lahore is conducting an inquiry No70/2020 on USD hoarding/ shortage. As per credible information available with the investigation officer/ team, you deposited USD cash total amounting to USD 249,650 from 1st January to 30th September 2021. You are, therefore, hereby required to appear in person or through a representative (Accountant only) on Tuesday 7th December 2021 at 10:30am at FIA office, 1-Temple Road, Lahore, without fail before the investigation team and bring along with relevant bank statements and inform this Agency whether the aforementioned foreign currency is presently held by you in your foreign currency accounts or otherwise. 

It is clarified that this legal notice does not entail the disclosing of the actual source of funds utilised for purchasing the aforementioned USD cash. A failure to comply will entail that you are unwilling to disclose the actual purpose of purchase of the USD cash,” the notice said.