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Showing posts with label Corruption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corruption. Show all posts

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Pakistani politician who has become the poster boy for British overseas aid STEAL funds meant for earthquake victims, asks DAVID ROSE

Pakistani politician who has become the poster boy for British overseas aid STEAL funds meant for earthquake victims, asks DAVID ROSE

Did the family of Pakistani politician who has become the poster boy for British overseas aid STEAL funds meant for earthquake victims, asks DAVID ROSE


  • Shahbaz Sharif leads Pakistan's main opposition party and was a chief minister 
  • Up to £500million of UK foreign aid has been poured into his province, Punjab
  • But, investigators claim, his family was laundering some of the money in Britain 


Meet Shahbaz Sharif. He’s the leader of Pakistan’s main opposition party and, before losing power last year, spent ten years as chief minister of the country’s biggest province, Punjab – home to 110 million people.

For years he was feted as a Third World poster boy by Britain’s Department for International Development, which poured more than £500 million of UK taxpayers’ money into his province in the form of aid.

Last year the head of DFID’s Pakistan office Joanna Rowley lauded his ‘dedication’, while her colleague Richard Montgomery gushed that under Shahbaz, Punjab was ‘reforming at a pace rarely seen’.

Shahbaz visited Downing Street when David Cameron was Prime Minister, has held talks with successive international development secretaries – Andrew Mitchell, Justine Greening and Penny Mordaunt – and hosted Boris Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary.

Last year he was guest of honour at a party to celebrate the Queen’s birthday at the British High Commission in Lahore, photographed toasting Her Majesty with mango juice.

The leader of Pakistan's main opposition party Shahbaz Sharif pictured with then UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson, in November 2016. Investigators say the politician, who was also chief minister of the Punjab, has embezzled tens of millions of pounds of UK public money and laundered it in Britain +4
The leader of Pakistan's main opposition party Shahbaz Sharif pictured with then UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson, in November 2016. Investigators say the politician, who was also chief minister of the Punjab, has embezzled tens of millions of pounds of UK public money and laundered it in Britain

Yet, say investigators, all the time that DFID was heaping him and his government with praise and taxpayers’ cash, Shahbaz and his family were embezzling tens of millions of pounds of public money and laundering it in Britain.

They are convinced that some of the allegedly stolen money came from DFID-funded aid projects.

Last night, Shahbaz’s son Suleman denied the allegations against him and his family, saying they were the product of a ‘political witch-hunt’ ordered by Pakistan’s new prime minister, the former cricketer Imran Khan. ‘No allegation has been proven. There is no evidence of kickbacks,’ he said.

According to the watchdog Transparency International, Pakistan comes just 117th in the world integrity index and ‘corruption is a major obstacle’ there. DFID admits it is ‘well aware’ that Pakistan is a ‘corrupt environment’. However, since 2014, DFID has given more aid to Pakistan than any other country – up to £463 million a year.




Last week, The Mail on Sunday – which has campaigned against Britain’s policy of spending 0.7 per cent of national income, currently about £14 billion a year, on foreign aid – was given exclusive access to some of the results of a high-level probe ordered by Khan, who won elections last year. We were also able to interview key witnesses held on remand in jail, including a UK citizen Aftab Mehmood.

He claims he laundered millions on behalf of Shahbaz’s family from a nondescript office in Birmingham – without attracting suspicion from Britain’s financial regulators, who inspected his books regularly.

Last year, this newspaper disclosed the case against Pakistan’s former prime minister, Shahbaz’s brother Nawaz Sharif, who had built up a London property empire worth £32 million.

Convicted of corruption, he is now serving a seven-year jail sentence. But according to Pakistani investigators, the wealth accrued by Shahbaz and his family is still greater.

A flow diagram showing how some of the UK taxpayers' cash was laundered by the politician. As much as £500million of the UK foreign aid fund was poured into his former province, Punjab, by Britain's foreign aid budget +4
A flow diagram showing how some of the UK taxpayers' cash was laundered by the politician. As much as £500million of the UK foreign aid fund was poured into his former province, Punjab, by Britain's foreign aid budget

The Mail on Sunday can reveal:

Legal documents allege that Shahbaz’s son-in-law received about £1 million from a fund established to rebuild the lives of earthquake victims – to which DFID gave £54 million from UK taxpayers;
Investigators have launched inquiries into alleged thefts from DFID-funded schemes to give poor women cash to lift them out of poverty and to provide healthcare for rural families;
Stolen millions were laundered in Birmingham and then allegedly transferred to Shahbaz’s family’s accounts by UK branches of banks including Barclays and HSBC;
Self-confessed Birmingham money-launderer Aftab Mehmood told the MoS that he had his accounts audited every three months by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – who failed to notice anything was amiss;
Britain’s National Crime Agency is working closely with Pakistani investigators and Home Secretary Sajid Javid is discussing the possible extradition of members of Shahbaz’s family who have taken refuge in London;
Aware of how widespread corruption is in Pakistan, DFID has been running a £1.75 million project designed to ‘reduce the exposure to fraud and corruption’ of UK aid. But although it says it is already vigilant, DFID admits that, to date, it has referred just one individual to the Pakistani authorities for trying to steal UK funds.
Last night, former International Development Secretary Priti Patel, who is widely tipped to rejoin the Cabinet if Boris Johnson becomes PM, demanded an inquiry. She told the MoS: ‘As someone who has served as Secretary of State at DFID, I find it shocking that British funds may have been abused, especially given the background of poverty in Pakistan which aid is meant to alleviate.

‘We spend millions on anti-corruption initiatives and yet it seems clear that Britain is still a money-launderers’ paradise.

‘It’s vital we now co-operate with the Pakistani investigation, to ensure those allegedly responsible come up against the full force of the law.’

According to Duncan Hames, policy director of Transparency International, corruption often first comes to light through evidence of money- laundering: ‘First you identify suspicious transactions in the banking system and then you follow the money trail back to discover where they came from.’

Indeed, this is how the investigation into Shahbaz and his family began. After winning election on a pledge to combat corruption, Imran Khan set up a special team to deal with it, the Asset Recovery Unit, headed by a UK-educated barrister. They have examined a series of suspicious transactions running to many millions and shown that Shahbaz’s family’s assets grew enormously during the years he was in power.

A confidential investigation report, seen by this newspaper, says the family was worth just £150,000 in 2003 but by 2018 their total assets had grown to about £200 million. Among other properties, Shahbaz owns a 53,000 sq ft palace in Lahore, which has its own large security force.

According to the report, the family’s legitimate income sources could not account for their riches.

The money, the report says, was channelled from abroad – via several elaborate money-laundering schemes, in which Britain played a central role.

The report claims laundered payments were made to Shahbaz’s children, his wife and his son-in-law Ali Imran. But it adds that Shahbaz ‘was the principal beneficiary of this money-laundering enterprise, by way of spending, acquisition of properties and their expansion into palatial houses where he lived.’

One of the most audacious schemes was said to be focused on Birmingham. The report lists 202 ‘personal remittances’ from the UK and the United Arab Emirates into the bank accounts of Shahbaz’s wife, two sons and two daughters.

Under Pakistani law, before the recipients could accept these payments into their accounts, they had to sign ‘due diligence’ forms saying they had been sent as ‘investments’ by people they knew personally.

Samples – signed by Shahbaz’s family – have been seen by this newspaper. But investigators claim the reality was different.

British high commissioner Thomas Drew and chief guest Shahbaz Sharif toast to the Queen's birthday in Lahore +4
British high commissioner Thomas Drew and chief guest Shahbaz Sharif toast to the Queen's birthday in Lahore

‘We noticed that someone called Manzoor Ahmed had sent a series of 13 payments from Birmingham worth £1.2 million to Shahbaz’s wife Nusrat and his sons Hamza and Suleman,’ said one investigator, who asked not to be named. ‘But who was he?’

He was traced through his identity card, whose number was on the forms. In the words of the report, he turned out to be ‘a small home-based tuck shop owner’ in a remote village, who scraped a living selling poppadoms. Needless to say, he had never had £1.2 million, nor travelled to England.

Another man who was said to have sent about £850,000 to Shahbaz’s family from Birmingham via HSBC was Mehboob Ali, a Lahore ‘street hawker’, who lived from taking tiny commissions from collecting old banknotes and changing them into new ones.

When I met him in Lahore, he was visibly terrified. He said: ‘When I discovered my identity had been stolen, my life overturned. I never met any of these people. But my old clients think I must have done something wrong, because the investigators interviewed me.

‘Now I try to live by selling glasses of lime juice and it’s hard to feed my family.’

Sending the money to Shahbaz’s family apparently from these and other poverty-stricken ‘investors’ was Briton Aftab Mehmood, the proprietor of Usman International, a money-changing firm in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham.

Arrested during a visit to Pakistan in April, he agreed to meet me in a hot, airless room at Lahore’s city jail.

He explained how the money-laundering worked. ‘I would just receive a fax from Pakistan with the names of the people I was to wire money to. I knew who they were: they were famous. It wasn’t my business to ask where the money came from. I simply transferred it, and I did it through the proper channels.

‘I was audited by HMRC every three months. They wanted to make sure I wasn’t money-laundering. I always passed with flying colours. That meant I had no problem with the banks.’

So where had this money come from? In fact, say investigators, it had been taken as kickbacks and ‘commissions’ from government-run projects and delivered by ‘cash boys’ in bulging sacks to the office of Mehmood’s Lahore contact, Shahed Rafiq. In jail, Rafiq confirmed this, adding: ‘I don’t know where the cash came from. It was just business.’

The last part of the scheme was ingenious. How did Rafiq ensure that when Mehmood wired money to the accounts in Pakistan, he was not out of pocket? The answer is that Mehmood’s company in Birmingham also did legitimate money transfers and had thousands of clients who wanted to send money to relatives in Pakistan.

Shahbaz’s son, Suleman, told the MoS: ‘This is a witch-hunt against my family. It is similar to what happened at Guantanamo Bay, and under apartheid in South Africa. There is a clique around Imran Khan (pictured) which is trying to shut out the opposition and they are picking out my family members in order to harass them.’ +4
Shahbaz’s son, Suleman, told the MoS: ‘This is a witch-hunt against my family. It is similar to what happened at Guantanamo Bay, and under apartheid in South Africa. There is a clique around Imran Khan (pictured) which is trying to shut out the opposition and they are picking out my family members in order to harass them.’

If he was asked to send £100,000 to one of Shahbaz’s sons, he would simply wait until he had funds from UK customers who wanted to send equivalent sums to Pakistan.

Then, instead of wiring the money to his customers’ relatives, it is claimed he would send it under the names of fake investors to Shahbaz’s family’s bank accounts. In Lahore, Rafiq would give the relatives the stolen money which had been brought by the cash boys. The investigators say payments made by this method totalled £21 million – but were merely the tip of the iceberg.

They say they have traced a further £9.1 million from ‘ghost’ investors who do not exist, and fake loans and investments in family companies. Their value, they claim, amounts to a further £160 million.

Having established the scale of the money-laundering, the investigation is now moving into phase two – finding out where and how the laundered funds were stolen.

This is a witch-hunt against my family. It is similar to what happened at Guantanamo Bay, and under apartheid in South Africa. There is a clique around Imran Khan which is trying to shut out the opposition and they are picking out my family members in order to harass them  - Shahbaz’s son, Suleman
One case has already come to court – a guilty plea by Ikram Naveed, the former finance director of ERRA, Pakistan’s Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction Authority, set up after the devastating quake of 2005, which received £54 million from DFID between then and 2012, both for immediate relief and long-term schemes to rebuild victims’ lives.

Naveed is described in Pakistan as the ‘right hand man’ of Ali Imran – Shahbaz’s son-in-law who is married to his daughter Rabia.

Naveed pleaded guilty and confessed last November to embezzling about £1.5 million from ERRA during the period DFID was funding it, of which he passed on almost £1 million to Ali Imran.

Naveed said half of this was transferred directly from ERRA’s accounts – a claim confirmed by banking records. Ali Imran has been summoned to answer questions from investigators, but has failed to appear – because he is in London, and refuses to speak to them. He did not respond to a request for comment from the MoS. Other family members, who documents suggest received laundered millions, have also sought refuge in Britain, including Shahbaz’s son, Suleman.

An internal DFID report, drawn up in 2008, warned that ERRA ‘had yet to develop effective and transparent accountability systems’. Nevertheless, DFID continued pumping millions into ERRA. The report stated that DFID aid to ERRA was not ‘earmarked’, but paid into its general budget.

Yesterday, a DFID spokesman said: ‘The UK’s financial support to ERRA over this period was for payment by results – which means we only gave money once the agreed work, which was primarily focused on building schools, was completed, and the work audited and verified.

‘The UK taxpayer got exactly what it paid for and helped the vulnerable victims of a devastating earthquake. We are confident our robust systems protected UK taxpayers from fraud.’

The investigators are now examining evidence that other DFID-funded schemes were embezzled.

One is the Pakistan National Cash Transfers programme, for which DFID has provided nearly £300 million since 2012, giving payments of £100 a month to mothers in poor families. Before Imran Khan became prime minister, inquiries had begun into payments to ‘ghost’ claimants which were being siphoned off – but the investigation was shut down while Shahbaz’s party was in power. It has now been reopened, and investigators are conducting a fresh survey of how the money was spent, and whether women who got the stipend actually exist.

A further investigation is under way into alleged thefts from maternal and child health programmes.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz has already been summoned numerous times to answer investigators’ questions, while his son, Hamza, is being held for questioning in custody.

Shahbaz’s son, Suleman, told the MoS: ‘This is a witch-hunt against my family. It is similar to what happened at Guantanamo Bay, and under apartheid in South Africa. There is a clique around Imran Khan which is trying to shut out the opposition and they are picking out my family members in order to harass them.’

Asked about the payments he allegedly received from the poppadom seller and other questionable sources, he said: ‘The law allows foreign remittances and each and every penny I received came through proper banking channels, cleared by the State Bank of Pakistan. [The investigators] are just releasing funny stories in the media. I deny their version. I have done everything according to the law.’

Imran Khan’s Asset Recovery Unit chief Shahzad Akbar said yesterday: ‘Our investigations have already uncovered evidence of money-laundering on a vast scale, much of it conducted via the UK.

‘The international community needs to get much more serious about this: despite concern expressed by world leaders, money can still be plundered from developing countries such as Pakistan and washed in the global banking system with only minimal checks. Our investigations into the sources of the money which was laundered are ongoing, but it already appears that some of it – perhaps very large sums – may have been stolen from aid and development projects financed by British taxpayers.

‘There have been claims that the current government is doing all this for political reasons.

‘Nothing could be further from the truth.

‘The people of Pakistan have suffered from organised criminal activity on a colossal scale and this has damaged the country’s economy. If we did not pursue these investigations, we would be negligent in our duty.

‘We are working closely with the National Crime Agency and the Home Office. We are grateful for this assistance and we hope it will ensure that theft and money-laundering of this magnitude will never happen again.’

Read this article on Daily Mail







Sunday, June 2, 2019

Zardari Group got Rs30m of Rs4.4bn suspicious transactions, IHC told (Dawn)

Zardari Group got Rs30m of Rs4.4bn suspicious transactions, IHC told (Dawn)

Zardari Group got Rs30m of Rs4.4bn suspicious transactions, IHC told (Dawn)


ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) informed the Islamabad High Court on Thursday that out of Rs4.4 billion suspicious transactions through a fictitious bank account, the company owned by former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur received only Rs30 million.

NAB investigation officer Mohammad Ali Abro, who is probing the fake bank accounts case, told a two-judge IHC bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had registered an FIR in the case in which Mr Zardari and his sister were also entangled at a later stage. The FIR was based on the suspicious transactions of Rs4.4bn, he added.

He said the account titled M/s A One International was fake and it received a sum of Rs4.4bn out of which Rs30m was paid to the Zardari Groupat two dif ferent times. When the court asked theinvestigationofficerif there was any evidence that showed the amount was proceeds of crime, he said it was being investigated.

Mr Abro said another company Park Lane Private Limited owned by the former president also received a huge amount from the same account.

NAB has filed a separate reference in this case as well.

When Justice Kayani asked why NAB had filed multiple references when these could be filed as a single case, NAB`s Additional Prosecutor General Jahanzeb Bharwana said the Supreme Court had directed the anti-graft watchdog to file multiple references.

During the hearing, the IHC bench extended the interim bail of Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur, as well as some other accused persons.

Mr Bharwana informed the court that there was nothing against Khawaja Nimar Majeed and three officials of the Summit Bank and NAB was not going to arrest them in the f ake accounts case. Subsequently, the IHC disposed of their petitions.

Giving some details of the fake accounts case, Mr Bahrwana said the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) under the directive of the Supreme Court had traced 28 fake accounts where theostensible account holders disassociated themselves from the accounts.

He said the FIA initially registered the FIR in the fake accounts case under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act and Anti Money Laundering Act.

A challan was submitted to a banking court in Karachi, whereas the NAB chairman in the light of the SC directive transferred these cases to an accountability court of Islamabad.

Naek`s press conference Farooq H. Naek, the counsel for Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur, claimed at a press conference that the former president had nothing to do with the references filed by NAB because he was a minority shareholder in the Zardari Group. He said the Zardari Group was a private firm that received Rs30m f rom a bank account.

According to Mr Naek, this amount was paid by sugar mills owned by the Omni Group for sugarcane crops of Mr Zardari and his sister.

He said the case was originally registered with the Karachi FIA and tried in the banking court from where it was transferred to the Rawalpindi NAB. Mr Zardari had challenged the transfer of the case and the matter was pending before the Supreme Court, he added.

Published in Dawn  31 May 19



Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Pakistan Talent Wins Islamic Development Bank Funding to Solve SDGs

Pakistan Talent Wins Islamic Development Bank Funding to Solve SDGs

Pakistan Talent Wins Islamic Development Bank Funding to Solve SDGs

  
Transformers Roadshow winners receive seed capital and mentoring to realise their solutions to global development challenges

Pakistan is third largest beneficiary member country of the IsDB with $12.43 billion financing received to date
Health Minister Dr Zafar Mirza applauds IsDB’s contribution to the health sector in Pakistan. Awards winners of the roadshow.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has awarded four Pakistani innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs seed capital and business skills mentoring as part of its fifth edition of the Transformers Roadshow competition, held in association with COMSTECH. The Roadshow is a global initiative in which applicants are invited to pitch ideas accelerating one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Minister of state for health, Dr Zafar Mirza was the chief guest for the Transformers Roadshow. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Zafar Mirza said that, the current initiative, namely the Transformers Roadshow, is a very novel idea. He congratulated IsDB for providing this opportunity to young Pakistani innovators to pitch their ideas for addressing one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  There is no dearth of innovative and creative ideas in our countries but there is a dire need of directing efforts towards providing indigenous solutions for the problems that we face, and secondly there is a strong need for connecting innovators with entrepreneurs, who can convert the ideas or prototypes into commercialized products or services.

Dr Mirza said that Pakistani innovators are using their skills in producing energy from renewable technologies, which can be linked with industry to eliminate poverty and generate employment. He said that with the help of IsDB we have started a project of mobile health clinics in Islamabad that will obviously facilitate people in providing basic health facilities in remote areas. Health minister said that

IsDB and COMSTECH will provide support for providing health, education, food security and safe drinking for the poor of the society.

Addressing the gathering and during the press conference, President Islamic Development Bank Dr. Bandar Hajjar said, Pakistan is the integral member country of the IsDB group and is the third largest beneficiary of IsDB financing.

The IsDB group has provided a total financing of 12.43 billion USD to Pakistan, helping improve the lives of the people of Pakistan through a range of development projects. He highlighted that IsDB is financing Neelum Jhelum Hydro Power Project, Jamshoro Power Station, CASA 1000 project for improving energy needs of the country. Dr Bandar Hajjar said that he had a very fruitful & constructive meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of Road to Naya Pakistan will pave way for the economic prosperity of the country. He said IsDB has earmarked a 500 million USD fund for promoting science technology and innovation in the member countries.

The competition attracted more than 200 entrants from across Pakistan, with shortlisted 20 teams presented their innovative ideas and 4 finalists were selected by the esteemed judging panel, awarded $3,000 seed capital and a ticket to Transformers Roadshow final to be held in Senegal later this year. The initiatives were assessed in line with the SDGs agenda across factors such as innovativeness, impact and outreach, practicality, scalability, sustainability, potential for patenting and commercialisation.

Coordinator General COMSTECH addressing the press conference said that “We are committed to developing local talent and nurturing solutions to key challenges. We are delighted that this event attracted some of Pakistan’s top minds who have made it their mission to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.” He said that the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan is collaborating with IsDB for funding innovative projects by Pakistani scientists.

Dr Hayat Sindi, Senior Advisor to the President, Islamic Development Bank said: “The quality of the applications here in Pakistan has been exceptionally high, and I am delighted to see so many innovative and novel solutions proposed across such a diverse mix of development issues. Science, technology and innovation are at the heart of the IsDB’s strategy and through the Transform Fund, our dream is to support solutions designed by local entrepreneurs and innovators who understand their communities.”

Winners of the competition will receive an invitation to attend the 2019 IsDB Transformers Summit in Senegal. The winners were:
  1. Dr Osman Hassan, Smart SIM (Health)
  2. Dr Khawaja Arsalan Habib, Short Circuit Fault Localization System (Energy)
  3. Hassan Bin Rizwan, Muse Lessons (Education)
  4. Ms Rehana Balti, Appricot Processing Strategy (Agriculture)

Teams presented their ideas to an esteemed judging panel from public and private sectors including:

–       Dr Hayat Sindi, Chief STI advisor to the President of the IsDB
–       Mr Yusuf Hussain, CEO, Ignite
–       Dr Fil Randazzo, CEO and Founder, Leverage Science
–       Lars Kroijer, Founder, Allied Crowds

Launched in July 2018, the Transformers Roadshow is one of the initiatives led by the IsDB Transform Fund set up to support the IsDB’s strategic focus on capacity building and human capital development. Previous editions took place in Uzbekistan, Niger, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh, where the Bank has awarded nine innovators.  The IsDB mission via the Transform Fund is to equip people to drive their own economic and social progress at scale, putting the infrastructure in place to enable them to fulfil their potential.



Saturday, April 27, 2019

Bank transfers by Sharifs for money laundering traced

Bank transfers by Sharifs for money laundering traced

Bank transfers by Sharifs for money laundering traced

                 
ISLAMABAD: The government revealed on Sunday that authorities had traced several bank TTs (telegraphic transfers) used by the Sharif f amily for money laundering.

At a hurriedly called press conference, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry alleged that if there was one f amily that had marked the beginning of modern-day corruption in Pakistan, `it is the Sharif f amily` while the Zardaris carried it forward to new heights.

Flanked by Hammad Azhar, minister of state for revenue, and Shahzad Akbar, special assistant to prime minister on accountability with the status of minister of state, Mr Chaudhry alleged that 200 bank TTs related to the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif had been traced.

`Seventy persons have been identified in this regard,` the information minister said and showed the copies of bank documents related to money transfers in dollars and UAE dirhams.

The details of the alleged money trail were presented to media showing that the two political families had been instrumental in siphoning off ill-gotten money from the country and part of it was invested back in the country through various accounts.

Shahzad Akbar said: `Nusrat Shahbaz [wife of Shahbaz Sharif] has received millions of dollars through the TT transactions and this is why she is under investigation.

He said all banking transactions were conducted before 2008 when the antimoney laundering law was not enacted in the country.

Mr Akbar said Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz had not answered a single query put by theNational Accountability Bureau, but he was issuing misleading statements through the media.

Just before the start of the press conference, Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted a quote from Frédéric Bastiat, a French economist, writer and prominent member of the French Liberal School: `When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.



`The truth of this saying is reflected clearly in the way money launderers are treated and the way they behave with indignation when questioned,` Mr Khan added.

At the news conference, the informationminister claimed that from the end of 1988 to the beginning of 1990, the Sharifs had accumulated a lot of wealth, but the challenge for them was its utilisation and `how to manage it and make it white so that it can be invested in Pakistan or anywhere else`.

He claimed that the authorities had unearthed suspicious transactions made between 1996 and 1998 when foreign remittances of Rs850 million were credited in the account of the Hudaibya Papers Mill, which had a total paid up capital of only Rs95m.

`The owner of the mill was Mian Mohammad Sharif and his late father, Fawad Chaudhry said and alleged that the ill-gotten money was sent abroad through hawala/ hundi.

He said the Economic Reforms Act-1992 was introduced to facilitate the inflow of dollars into the country, but the law was used by the Sharifs for outflow of their illgotten money through banking channels.

`The money was deposited in fake accounts to send it abroad too and some portion of this money returned to Pakistan through banking TTs in the accounts of 40 individuals, all of whom were associated to the Sharifs, some of them distant relatives,` he said.

Mr Chaudhry described former finance minister Ishaq Dar as `economic hit man` for the Sharif family, saying he was the architect of the Economic Reforms Act-1992 and `devised the novel method for money laundering through fake accounts`.He said Mr Dar had recorded a statement before a magistrate under oath in 2000, in which he confessed to have forwarded Rs1.24 billion trough hundi/ hawala, `but the case could not be pursued due to an NRO leading to presidential pardon`.

`The Hudaibya money transfer was replicated in the Hill Metal company case too,` Mr Chaudhry alleged.

He said Hussain Nawaz sent around Rs1.16 billion through TT to his father Nawaz Sharif and out of it Mr Sharif gave Rs820m to his daughter MaryamNawaz, who bought agricultural land from the amount.

`Similarly, Shahbaz Sharif has two properties in London but nobody knows the source of financing and how did that moneylandintheUK,`theinformation minister said.

When questioning started in October 2018, the key members of the Shahbaz Sharif family, including his wife Nusrat, son Salman, daughters and son-in-law Ali Imran, gradually lef t the country, he said.

Mr Chaudhry said, `Manzoor PaperWala belonging to Pind Dadan Khan, Punjab, gave $8m to Mr Hamza Shahbaz, besides Mehboob Ali, a hawker running his business outside Sadiq Plaza in Lahore and another man, Rafique, now deceased, forwarded several thousand dollars to him.

The minister said PPP leader Asif Zardari took corruption to a new height as he bought an entire bank.

He alleged that an entire network was created in Sindh where fake accounts were created and then money was transferred to people `such as theman who sold falooda (an ice cream dessert) in Faisalabad and saw millions of rupees transferred to his account`.

`Money was transferred to insignificant people such as gardeners, drivers, guards, etc. If big amounts are passed out to these people, their accounts must have been used by others,` said the information minister. He said the Federal Investigation Agency had unearthed around 500 accounts which were connected to 32 basic accounts that branched out to the others.

`Everything was traced to theseaccounts such as payment for Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari`s air travel expenditures, Ayan Ali`s air tickets and the expenditures incurred on Bilawal House. Moreover, Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari`s birthday expenses were also paid through these accounts,` Mr Chaudhry said.

He said the Zardari family used Omni Group, contractors, Public Sector Development Programme funds of Sindh, human carriers (referring to Ayan Ali) and f ake accounts for gathering ill-gotten wealth and money laundering.

Dawn - By Kalbe Ali | 4/15/2019 




Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Fly Emirates to Dubai and avail a discounted Uber ride upon arrival

Fly Emirates to Dubai and avail a discounted Uber ride upon arrival

Fly Emirates to Dubai and avail a discounted Uber ride upon arrival  


- Due to excellent customer feedback, Emirates has expanded its partnership with Uber to offer passengers travelling into Dubai from more than 50 destinations a discounted airport ride

Karachi Dubai, UAE, March 19, 2018: Emirates passengers from Pakistan travelling to and through Dubai can enjoy a stress free end-to-end journey by booking today and availing a free or discounted and reliable Uber ride from and to Dubai International Airport. Pakistani visitors travelling from more than 50 global destinations within North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Australasia and Far East can take advantage of this offer starting now until 18 June 2019.*

Emirates Economy Flex Plus and Emirates Economy Flex passengers travelling from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Sialkot can redeem the exclusive offer by visiting the Emirates website during the promotional period.* 

Economy Flex Plus travellers can avail two free rides from and to Dubai International Airport from anywhere in Dubai up to the value of AED 120 per trip, while Economy Flex passengers will get 50% off two rides, from and to Dubai International Airport to anywhere in Dubai up to the value of AED 60 per trip.

Visitors to Dubai will be awed by the city’s attractive offerings including the eclectic landmarks, fine dining restaurants, world-class shopping malls and stunning beaches. The vibrant city has a bustling calendar of events across the summer months including impressive art fairs, music concerts, comedy shows and thrilling horse racing events such as the Dubai World Cup 2019.  

Emirates passengers travelling in Economy Class will enjoy the airline’s award winning in-flight entertainment system with 4,000 channels of movies, music and TV programmes, including content in Urdu for Pakistani travellers. Passengers on-board will receive unmatched hospitality provided by the airline’s iconic Cabin Crew from 135 nationalities, speaking more than 60 languages. Customers can also stay connected to family and friends during the flight with up to 20 MB of complementary Wi-Fi. 





Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Explore the World in 2019 with Emirates’ Special Fares for Pakistani travellers

Explore the World in 2019 with Emirates’ Special Fares for Pakistani travellers

Explore the World in 2019 with Emirates’ Special Fares for Pakistani travellers 

Plan now and book these special return fares to Dubai, Bangkok, Melbourne, Cape Town and many other exciting destinations 

Karachi /Dubai – January 07, 2019: Start your New Year with a new adventure with Emirates’ special fares to popular destinations for Pakistani travellers. Explore new cultures, relax on the beach or enjoy a city break in 157 destinations across Emirates’ global network with these limited time offers. 

Fulfil your 2019 dreams of an African adventure, have a memorable sunny holiday in Dubai or visit family in Australia by securing these special fares when booking between 08 and 21 January for travel between 10 January and 30 November 2019.

Emirates’ exclusive sale includes: 

Destination
Economy Class
Starting from PKR
Business Class
Starting from PKR
New York
126,657
339,807
London
104,620
349,192
Kuala Lumpur
58,200
186,180
Milan
82,882
300,112
Bangkok
59,341
187,321
Frankfurt
144,582
456,482

Fly better with Emirates by enjoying an award winning and comfortable travel experience across all cabins. All customers across cabin classes have access to 4,000 channels of audio and visual entertainment on Emirates’ ice system, from the latest movies to TV shows, music and games. As part of the Emirates experience, customers also enjoy complimentary beverages and regionally inspired meals, as well as the famed hospitality of the airline’s multi-cultural cabin crew, including crew from Pakistan. Emirates also offers a generous baggage allowance of up to 35Kg in Economy Class, 40Kg in Business Class and 50Kg in First Class. 

Additionally, Emirates passengers booked on an Economy Class roundtrip ticket to Dubai can enjoy additional baggage allowance on their return journey during the Dubai Shopping Festival 2019 – a highly anticipated five week festival offering extraordinary discounts and rewards in various shopping outlets. Customers travelling back from Pakistan via Dubai to Emirates destinations within Canada, North America, Central America, South America or Africa can enjoy one extra piece of baggage. Those travelling to other destinations within the Emirates network can also take advantage of an additional 10kgs of excess baggage. The offer is applicable to bookings made between December 17, 2018 until February 2, 2019, for travel between December 26, 2018 and February 4, 2019.*
                                                                                                                                                        
To book your next flight with Emirates contact your local travel agent or visit https://www.emirates.com/pk/ 







Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fawad Chaudhry said:-  165 big tax defaulters traced

Fawad Chaudhry said:- 165 big tax defaulters traced

Fawad Chaudhry said:-  165 big tax defaulters traced
                 
Dawn By Syed Irfan Raza | 10/4/2018 

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday said Prime Minister Imran Khan could never strike any deal to facilitate former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his cronies, including former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who have been facing corruption and money laundering cases.

During a meeting with journalists, the minister said efforts were being made to bring Ishaq Dar to the country from Britain so that he could face justice.

Prime Minister`s Adviser Arbab Shahzad was also present on the occasion.

He revealed that the government had decided to remove Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Ali Jahangir Siddiqui and Pakistan`s High Commissioner in Canada Tariq Azeem as they were appointed on political grounds by the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.

`Repatriation of Ishaq Dar will be the first drop of rain,` the minister said, giving an impression that the government will further tighten noose around the leaders of opposition parties allegedlyinvolved in corruption.

Responding to a question whether Nawaz Sharif has been released under any deal with the Saudi government, the minister termed it an assumption and said it was totally wrong that the Saudi government had promised $10 billion monetary assistance to Pakistan with the condition of Sharif`s release. `Those who know Imran Khan cannot ask such questions because he is a man who cannot make such dealsevenifheis offered $50bnnnancial support,` he said.

He said the nation`s wealth stashed in foreign countries would be retrieved and it would be started from the corrupt rulers.

`According to Ishaq Dar, who always tells lies, over $220bn properties and bank accounts of Pakistanis have been detected in different foreign countries,` he added.

Mr Chaudhry said 165 big tax def aulters had been traced and a stern action would be taken against them if they did not bring themselves under the tax net.

CPEC project The minister said that although Saudi Arabia would invest in projects being carried out under the China-PakistanEconomic Corridor (CPEC), it would not become a strategic partner of Pakistan or a part of the Joint Working Group or Joint Coordination Committee.

`Not only Saudi Arabia but many other countries also have shown interest in investment in Pakistan and CPEC-related projects,` he said.

Mr Chaudhry brushed aside a perception that Pakistan had not taken China into confidence regarding third-party investment by Saudi Arabia. He said Chinese authorities had been informed many times about this. `Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has also been apprised of Saudi investment during his recent visit to Pakistan,` he added.

When a reporter suggested that the people were fed up with the polices of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government even in its first 40 days, the minister said it was a wrong impression attributed to the people, but the fact was that the people were quite satisfied and happy.

Talking about the recent increase in gas tariff,hesaidthe decisionwouldnotaffect 70 per cent people or poor as the new rate would apply to the elite class for consuming over 500 units per month.

Mega schemes Prime Minister`s Adviser Arbab Shahzad said development schemes which were launched on political motivation would be wrapped up and those which were beneficial for the country would continue.

In reply to a question about new task forces on accountability laws and national security, the adviser said these would not act as parallel bodies of the National Accountability Bureau and National Security Committee of parliament, but as a `facilitator` to assist the cabinet and the government in brining reforms.

About the bureaucracy, he said the prime minister had issued instructions that the bureaucracy would not be harassed, but the officials who did not perform their duties would be taken to task.

At this, Fawad Chaudhry said all bureaucrats and technocrats holding top positions in the PML-N government, including Pakistan Ambassador to the US Ali Jahangir Siddiqui and High Commissioner in Canada Tariq Azeem, will be pulled back. `I think both of them should give their resignation voluntarily. Otherwise, we will pull them back,` he added.

In reply to a question about the government`s plan to introduce a new local bodies system, the adviser said the plan had almost been finalised and it would be implemented as and when the prime minister gave a go ahead.





Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Pakistanis nationals own assets worth $150 billion in Dubai - Supreme Court  told

Pakistanis nationals own assets worth $150 billion in Dubai - Supreme Court told

Pakistanis nationals own assets worth $150 billion in Dubai - Supreme Court  told

ISLAMABAD (Online) The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) was told on Monday that overseas Pakistanis own about $110 billion worth of properties in Dubai alone.  

The revelation came in a report submitted in the top court by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).  The report was submitted in the apex court in connection with a Supreme Court case on Pakistani nationals’ properties and bank accounts abroad.

The report discloses that the $110 billion properties were owned by 2,750 Pakistanis living in Dubai. The report, however, adds that overseas Pakistanis across the world own Rs150 billion properties and assets.

According to the report, FIA needs record from the Land Department of Dubai. It is pertinent to mention here that the investigation agency is taking action against overseas Pakistanis who made properties through illegal means. The department has written 54 criminal cases so far.

However, due to missing details from the Land Department Dubai, investigation could not be started yet. The report states that the FIA got information through first sources about 662 Pakistanis who own properties in Dubai whereas about 1,468 Pakistanis through cyber intelligence.

Moreover, the United Kingdom government has included Pakistan among three top money laundering countries. Russia and Naigeria are two others.

In the report, it has been requested to Governor State Bank to expand investigation jurisdiction up to foreign countries so that the looted money can be brought back to the national exchequer.

Meanwhile, the FIA also submitted a written reply in the foreign currency accounts case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.





Sunday, September 2, 2018

پاکستانیوں آنکھیں کھولو: یہ لوٹیرے جیلوں اور ہسپتالوں کے سب جیلوں میں آپ کے لوٹے ہوئے پیسوں سے کیا کرتے ہیں، شرجیل میمن کو چیف جسٹس نے شراب پیتے ہوئے پکڑ کر سیدھا جیل بھیج دیا:ـ دیکھئے

پاکستانیوں آنکھیں کھولو: یہ لوٹیرے جیلوں اور ہسپتالوں کے سب جیلوں میں آپ کے لوٹے ہوئے پیسوں سے کیا کرتے ہیں، شرجیل میمن کو چیف جسٹس نے شراب پیتے ہوئے پکڑ کر سیدھا جیل بھیج دیا:ـ دیکھئے

پاکستانیوں آنکھیں کھولو: یہ لوٹیرے جیلوں اور ہسپتالوں کے سب جیلوں میں آپ کے لوٹے ہوئے پیسوں سے کیا کرتے ہیں، شرجیل میمن کو چیف جسٹس نے شراب پیتے ہوئے پکڑ کر سیدھا جیل بھیج دیا:ـ دیکھئے


پاکستانیوں آنکھیں کھولو: یہ لوٹیرے جیلوں اور ہسپتالوں کے سب جیلوں میں آپ کے لوٹے ہوئے پیسوں سے کیا کرتے ہیں، شرجیل میمن کو چیف جسٹس نے شراب پیتے ہوئے پکڑ کر سیدھا جیل بھیج دیا:ـ دیکھئے









Saturday, September 1, 2018

زارداری کا اب تک کا سب سے بڑا کرپشن سامنے آگیا، بلاول ہاؤس  کے قریب 46 بنگلوں پر قبضہ  یہ ویڈیو آپ ضرور دیکھیں مزہ نہ آ پیسے واپس

زارداری کا اب تک کا سب سے بڑا کرپشن سامنے آگیا، بلاول ہاؤس کے قریب 46 بنگلوں پر قبضہ یہ ویڈیو آپ ضرور دیکھیں مزہ نہ آ پیسے واپس

زارداری کا اب تک کا سب سے بڑا کرپشن سامنے آگیا، بلاول ہاؤس
کے قریب 46 بنگلوں پر قبضہ
یہ ویڈیو آپ ضرور دیکھیں مزہ نہ آ پیسے واپس

زارداری کا اب تک کا سب سے بڑا کرپشن سامنے آگیا، بلاول ہاؤس 
کے قریب 46 بنگلوں پر قبضہ
یہ ویڈیو آپ ضرور دیکھیں مزہ نہ آ پیسے واپس






Thursday, June 21, 2018

عوام کو بے وقوف بنا رہے ہیں۔   عمران خان 168 ایکڑ اراضی کے مالک مگر ذاتی گاڑی نہیں، زارداری، بلاول اور مریم کے اربوں کے اثاثے ہیں، ان تمام لوگوں کے اثاثوں کی تفصیلات جاننے کے لئے یہ لنک کھولیں

عوام کو بے وقوف بنا رہے ہیں۔ عمران خان 168 ایکڑ اراضی کے مالک مگر ذاتی گاڑی نہیں، زارداری، بلاول اور مریم کے اربوں کے اثاثے ہیں، ان تمام لوگوں کے اثاثوں کی تفصیلات جاننے کے لئے یہ لنک کھولیں

عمران خان 168 ایکڑ اراضی کے مالک مگر ذاتی گاڑی نہیں، زارداری، بلاول اور مریم کے اربوں کے اثاثے ہیں، ان تمام لوگوں کے اثاثوں کی تفصیلات جاننے کے لئے یہ لنک کھولیں







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