New finding: 220 persons ‘have 656 assets in UAE’

FIA DG Memon tells court of 1,115 Pakistanis with properties in UAE, 351 have yet to submit affidavits

News Desk November 30, 2018
Latest FIA report reveals 220 more Pakistani nationals owning 656 benami properties in Dubai. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The apex court was informed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday that 220 new individuals had been found holding 656 properties in the United Arab Emirates.

The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, while hearing a suo motu case regarding retrieval of illegal money from abroad, was also informed by Director General Bashir Memon that 1,115 Pakistanis were holding 2,029 properties in the UAE.

The FIA DG apprised the court that of the 1,115 individuals, 757 had submitted their affidavits, but 351 had yet to respond.

Meanwhile, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) recommended further probe against 14 individuals, who failed to respond to the questioner about the possession of properties abroad.

SC summons Aleema Khanum's tax details in foreign property case

The SC tasked the FBR with summoning 20 individuals namely; Waqar Ahmad, Naushad Haroon Chamdia, Muhammad Amin, Zubair Mueen, Sheikh Tahir Majid Kapoor, Islam Salim, Agha Faisal, Syed Muhammad Ali, Nayyar Sheikh, Khawaja Muhammad Ramzan, Muhammad Saeed Minhas, Imtiaz Fazal, Fawad Anwar, Abid Aziz Rajkotwala, Naureen Sami Khan, Hamayun Bashir, Dr Farid uddin Sheikh, Sardar Mumtaz Khan, Sardar Dildar Ahmad Cheema and Faisal Hussain.

Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mahmood submitted the FBR report wherein it was stated that 20 persons appeared before the department on November 6 for the verification process. On that date, 11 individuals came personally or along with authorised representatives, four were represented by authorised representatives whereas five had not attended the verification process, but three of them submitted their written replies. However, neither two individuals attended the verification process nor was any reply received, says the report.

It was also informed that as a result of the verification process, contention of four individuals stood verified to the extent of their declared Dubai properties mentioned in the FIA source document, whereas 14 individuals cases had been recommended for further probe wherein the process of audit had been initiated.

Meanwhile, the bench has summoned all tax details of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khanum.

UAE seeks rich, educated foreigners with long-term visa scheme

During the hearing, CJP Nisar asked the FBR member operations whether Khanum owned any property in the UAE and whether she availed the Amnesty Scheme 2018. "Submit the details if she has applied for the amnesty scheme,” he asked.

The member operations informed the bench that Khanum availed the amnesty scheme. However, he contended that details of those who availed the scheme could not be made public under the rules. “The tax record is confidential under the rules,” he added.

“Before availing the amnesty scheme, the applicant has to declare foreign assets,” said Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench. "Why are you telling us this when my lord (chief justice) asked you."

The chief justice ordered the member to submit before the bench the details in a sealed envelope for examination.

Nisar further directed him to bring the file within 30 minutes.

Later, after the break, the FBR official told the bench that the case file was in Lahore. The court asked the FBR to furnish it before the bench today (Saturday) at the Lahore registry.

Aleema in her affidavit submitted with the FIA revealed that she owned the property Lofts East 1406 in Dubai and that the property was paid for from the funds generated from her “business dealing overseas”.

“I have already disposed of my property and have also informed the FBR about the purchase and sale of the said property,” stated her affidavit.



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