KARACHI: A judicial magistrate issued again on Wednesday non-bailable arrest warrants for London-based businessman Sarfaraz Merchant in a fraud case, while ordering the initiation of the process of declaring him a proclaimed offender over his repeated absence in court.
Merchant, whose name recently surfaced in connection with a money laundering case against Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, has been booked for allegedly cheating his former business colleague Zafar Faridi and also threatening him.
According to the prosecution, Merchant allegedly took a Range Rover SUV from Faridi’s house in Defence Housing Authority Phase VI, which the latter had bought for Rs16 million in 2011. Neither did he come back nor did he return the vehicle, instead threatening the owner of ‘dire consequences’ in the case of any legal action, it maintained.
Merchant, using his influence, implicated Faidi in two cases and extorted around Rs2.5 million from him, the prosecution stated, after securing release in the cases, the complainant moved to Dubai and upon his return to the country in 2014, he lodged a case against the accused.
The case is now lingering in the court due to the Merchant’s absence, as the charge sheet has already been filed in the case in which he has been shown as an absconder, a court official said.
The South district judicial magistrate VII asked the concerned investigations SSP to inform the court about the whereabouts of the suspect by May 17 and in the meantime start the process of proclamation and attachment of his property in the case.
The case is registered under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code at Darakhshan police station.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2016.