Imran accused of illegal possession, sale of 7 high-value watches and 10 other precious gifts

New report reveals possession and sale of valuable gifts worth millions of rupees

Our Correspondent May 18, 2024
The Toshakhana is a repository which stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats and other officials by heads of other governments and foreign dignitaries. PHOTO: FILE


The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched an inquiry against PTI founder Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi over alleged misuse of the Toshakhana.

The investigation centers on illegal possession and sale of seven high-value watches and 10 other precious gifts, including diamond and gold jewelry.

According to an inquiry report, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, items such as Graff and Rolex watches and diamond jewellery were allegedly sold without being legally owned or deposited in the Toshakhana, as required by law.

The report states that the gifts were sold without being legally owned or deposited in the Toshakhana, as mandated by law.

Read Bushra Bibi challenges NAB summons

Moreover, a set of expensive Graff watches were sold without following proper retention procedures. It stressed that the legal requirement that all gifts must first be reported and deposited in the Toshakhana, with only items valued up to Rs30,000 allowed to be retained by recipients.

According to the report, the gifts were “routinely sold” without properly declaring them as per the law. The expensive Graff watch set was also allegedly sold without “retention”.

NAB’s findings suggest collusion between the buyers of the Graff watches and a private appraiser, who allegedly undervalued the watches by Rs30 million.

The undervaluation, confirmed via an email from Toshakhana, meant that only Rs20.1 million, or 20% of the watches' actual value of Rs100.9 million, was deposited into the government treasury.

The probe seeks to reveal the extent of Toshakhana regulations' misuse and the underreporting and sale of valuable gifts.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the case concerning the new NAB inquiry is set for a hearing on June 24. The hearing, initially scheduled for May 15, was postponed due to the cancellation of the cause list.

A two-member bench led by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq will preside over the hearing. Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi have formally the new NAB inquiry.

The development follows the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) suspension of sentences for Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi in a previous Toshakhana case on April 1.

Previously, on January 31, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir had sentenced them to 14 years in prison each and imposed a collective fine of Rs1.58 billion. The judgment stated that the fines would be recoverable as tax arrears, with jail time considered part of the punishment.




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