Money laundering case: Moonis Elahi appears before FIA

Adnan Malik
Money laundering case: Moonis Elahi appears before FIA

  • Moonis Elahi appears before FIA.
  • FIA registered money laundering case against Moonis, others following a report by Anti-Corruption Circle.
  • FIR states Sugar Commission's report said Moonis was allegedly involved in money laundering to tune of Rs270m.

LAHORE: PML-Q senior leader Moonis Elahi appeared on Thursday before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after it filed a money laundering case against him to the tune of Rs720 million.

Moonis is a former federal minister and son of Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi. FIA booked him and others in the case following a report by the FIA's Anti-Corruption Circle.

After the case was filed, Moonis visited the FIA's office Wednesday night, but was told to appear the next morning.

The case

According to the FIR, a probe against Moonis under the Money Laundering Act was started two years ago.

The FIR further said that the report by the Sugar Commission said that Moonis was allegedly involved in money laundering.

Last year, former prime minister Imran Khan had tasked the FIA to investigate the sugar crisis throughout the country and find out who benefited from it.

Read more: FIA files Rs720 million money laundering case against PML-Q's Moonis Elahi

Subsequently, a report by the agency released last year claimed that top PTI members as well as Moonis were among those who had allegedly gained from the sugar crisis in the country.

In addition, a money laundering case has been filed against Nawaz Bhatti, nephew of Muhammad Khan Bhatti, the secretary of Punjab Assembly, and Mazhar Iqbal, a peon at RYK Sugar Mills, said the FIR.

FIA said that both Bhatti and Iqbal have been arrested.

The FIR added that raids are being conducted for the arrest of another nephew of the Punjab Assembly secretary, Wajid Bhatti.

The development follows reports earlier this week that the FIA had decided to move against Moonis.

FIA sources said on Sunday that "sufficient evidence" has been collected against Moonis after which the agency decided to formally start an investigation against him.

Moonis' reaction 

Responding to the development then, Moonis took to his official Twitter account and wrote "Bismillah" while sharing a screenshot of the news, indicating that he welcomes the move.

Today, he was just as defiant, tweeting: "Do what you will. I appeared (in court) before and will appear again. Wait for me. I am coming."

'Punishment for not listening to them'

Speaking to Geo News later, Moonis Elahi said he "received no notice" from the FIA and "would have appeared" before the FIA if he had.

He said that the investigation agency had "simply issued a press release" and he only found out from the media yesterday that an FIR had been filed against him.

"They missed a legal step and then sent out teams to arrest me," Moonis said.

"I told them why are you dispatching teams for my arrest. I myself will come over to the FIA office. Fuel has become so costly as it is, why waste it?" he added.

The PML-Q leader said that as he speaks, he is on his way from Islamabad to Lahore to go to FIA's office.

'Cases against me will be closed if I announce support for govt'

Speaking to the press on the occasion, Moonis said that the cases against him will be closed today if he announces support for the government, adding that "they have an issue with my support for the PTI."

The PML-Q leader said that he was interrogated for four-and-a-half hours and they started asking the same questions when they ran out of queries.

"I responded to every question they asked. I told them that I will respond to whatever they ask and will appear again if they summon him again," Moonis said.

"They wanted to arrest me, not to interrogate. They would have issued a notice to me if they wanted to interrogate but I appeared before them out of the free will."