Pakistan’s top investigative body has registered an FIR against leading opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif, the friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan, and three other people in a multi-billion dollar sugar fraud.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) launched the money laundering case on Sunday against the President of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Shahbaz Sharif, his sons Hamza and Suleman, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s friend Jahangir Tareen, and his son Ali Tareen, Counterfeiting and crime register breaches of trust and fraud by public shareholders.
Ali Tareen and his son are charged with cheating and laundering 4.35 billion rupees in the case, while Shahbaz Sharif and his sons face similar charges of 25 billion rupees.
The complaint comes days after the Lahore Supreme Court filed a case against Tareen’s JDW Sugar Mills and Farooqi Pulp Mills and Shahbaz Sharif’s Al-Arabia Sugar Mills with the FIA by the Pakistani Security and Exchange Commission (SECP) on the basis of ” Procedural injustice and as a dictated exercise “.
The FIA said the court actually authorized it to act non-discriminatory against those involved in the sugar fraud.
Sharif Shahbaz and his son Hamza are in the Kot Lakhpat detention center in Lahore on another money laundering case initiated by the country’s anti-transplant agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), while his younger son Suleman is in London and it has already been declared a segregator by a local court in the money laundering case.
Tareen and his son recently returned from London. Ali is the owner of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise “Multan Sultan”.
The FIA has not yet made an arrest in this case.
The Sugar Inquiry Commission’s forensic review report, published last May, uncovered over Rs.150 billion a year in fraud in the production, sale and export of the goods by sugar barons, including Tareen and a brother of incumbent Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar.
The report revealed how the country’s “sugar cartel,” which includes 88 mills, worked with some government departments, including the Sugar Advisory Council and others, to commit fraud in sugar cane sourcing, sugar production, sales in the local market and export subsidies has and billions of rupees in tax evasion.
The government has ordered the relevant authorities to take massive action against sugar barons.