Criminal case registered against Shehzad Akbar, Sophia Mirza for running 'fake cases'

The FIR has been registered for cheating, preparation of forged documents, extortion of money, defamation and criminal intimidation

Murtaza Ali Shah
Model Sophia Mirza (left) and former accountability minister Shahzad Akbar. — Twitter/PID/File
Model Sophia Mirza (left) and former accountability minister Shahzad Akbar. — Twitter/PID/File

LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Police authorities in Islamabad have registered a criminal case against former accountability minister Shahzad Akbar, model Sophia Mirza, and others for registering "false and vindictive cases" against businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor in the summer of 2020 — when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) was in power.

According to a copy of the FIR registered at Islamabad Secretariat Police Station, a case for criminal investigation has been formally registered against Akbar, Mirza (whose real name is Khushbakhat Mirza), her sister Mariam Mirza, Maira Khurram, Umaid Butt and Ali Mardan Shah under Sections 420, 468, 471, 385, 386, 389, 500 and 506 of PPC 1860.

The FIR has been registered for cheating, preparation of forged documents, extortion of money, defamation and criminal intimidation.

As per the story of FIR, an inquiry against Umar Farooq Zahoor and others was initiated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Corporate Crime Circle (CCC) Lahore by treating an application submitted by his ex-wife Mirza as a source report.

It further reveals that the persons nominated in FIR acted in connivance to extort money from businessman Zahoor by registration of false cases against him at FIA Corporate Crime Circle Lahore.

The FIR application in particular mentions the role of Akbar who used the cabinet to run a campaign against Zahoor.

The FIR said: “After the registration of the aforesaid criminal cases, Mr. Shehzad Akbar the then Special Advisor to Prime Minister (PM) on Accountability, for illegal monetary gains, fraudulently obtained approval from the Cabinet under Section 188 CrPC 1898 by concealing the fact that the cases have already been closed at Switzerland and Norway."

"The applicant joined the investigation in the year 2023 and the Joint Investigation Team constituted for the investigation of the FIR No.36/20 and 40/20 after a thorough investigation reached to a conclusion that the allegations in the aforesaid FIRs are false, frivolous and concocted. Subsequently, the JIT FIA with the approval of the Board, submitted a Cancellation Report under Section 173 CrPC before the Competent Courts in both the FIRs."

"The Learned Court accepted the Cancellation Reports and allowed the cancellation of FIRs No. 36/20 and 40/20 vide Orders dated 29.04.2023 and 11.05.2023 respectively."

The FIR said Mirza, who married Zahoor in 2006, initiated a custody case against the applicant in order to blackmail him and extort money from him.

It said: “Umar Farooq Zahoor also paid her a hefty sum of Rs10,00,000 in the year 2013 on the directions of the Honorable Supreme Court after which the Honorable Supreme Court decided the controversy once and for all."

"However, Khushbakht Mirza, in the year 2020, in connivance with Mr. Shehzad Akbar the then Advisor to PM on Accountability and Umaid Butt and Ali Mardan Shah (officials of FIA) again started blackmailing the Applicant in order to extort more money from him."

"Khushabkht Mirza then with the help of the aforesaid persons managed to get false criminal cases registered against the Applicant and his other family members. The Applicant was blackmailed, threatened and harassed."

Last week, Judge Ghulam Murtaza Virk of Judicial Magistrate Lahore cleared businessman Zahoor in two cases of money laundering — registered against him by his former wife Mirza and Akbar.

Judge Virk acquitted Zahoor and cancelled two FIRs after the FIA informed the court that its investigations had established that the accused was not involved in fraud, money laundering, and corruption.

Both cases were started in early October 2020 after Mirza approached the FIA Lahore’s Corporate Circle with Akbar’s help, who got the cabinet to approve the investigations, over allegations of fraud and money laundering of around Rs 16 billion by Zahoor and his brother-in-law Saleem Ahmad.

When registering the cases, Mirza used her name as a complainant Khushbakht Mirza to conceal her identity and the fact that Zahoor was her former husband and both were involved in a court dispute over the custody of their two teen daughters.

Zahoor has publicly alleged that Mirza and her accomplices tried to extort money from him and when he refused they started cases against him using their govt connections in the PTI government.

The FIA told the court that during the course of investigation, it was brought on the record that Zahoor not only denied the allegations but also produced a letter from Norway Police confirming the said inquiry was closed due to lack of evidence and also produced another document of Oslo Police to the Public Prosecutor with the recommendation of dismissal of the case.

The judge ruled that on the basis of the FIA investigation reports, the FIRs stand dismissed.