Moonis Elahi gets interim bail till July 4 MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

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From Our Correspondent

LAHORE: A banking court in Lahore granted Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader Moonis Elahi an interim bail till July 4 in money laundering case yesterday registered against him by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Court asked FIA to submit record of case. Complainant apprised judge that registration of money laundering case against him was politically motivated. Counsel said Elahi was implicated in case and that he did not “control companies” mentioned by FIA.

Lawyer said PML-Q lawmaker was not involved in money laundering or any other such criminal activities. According to FIA’s first information report, case against Elahi was registered on June 15 under Sections 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention), 109 (punishment for abetment), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a genuine forged document) of Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and Section 4 of Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010.

FIR said that agency’s Anti-Corruption Circle in Lahore had registered an inquiry on August 7, 2020 pursuant to a report of Sugar Inquiry Commission 2020. It said that in light of report, FIA was mandated by federal government to probe financial and corporate frauds committed by various sugar mills, including Rahimyar Khan Alliance Sugar Mills. “During ongoing probe against Alliance Sugar Mills Group, it transpired that following low-profile individuals one of them had been at a very low level at time had jointly set up RYK Sugar Mills Ltd. in 2007-2008 at Rahimyar Khan,” FIR stated. The FIR added that mill was “set up ostensibly by laundering funds from unexplained sources, including proceeds of financial crimes”.

“This makes it evidently clear that accused M Nawaz Bhatti and Mazhar Abbas lent their identities and acted on behalf of Ch Moonis Elahi to disguise origin and nature of ill-gotten proceeds used to set up RYK Mills Ltd,” it went on to allege. FIA stated that Elahi and other accused were found involved in offences punishable under Section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 and 3/4 Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010” therefore, agency had decided to register case.

It said role of other directors of sugar mill including then chief minister Pervaiz Elahi who had approved NOC to set up mill in 2007 would be determined during course of investigation.