KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Mirpurkhas arrested an unregistered sugar broker Jugal Kishor involved in sugar price manipulation (Satta) in Sindh. The arrested broker has direct links with various mills like Al-Abbas sugar, JWD Sugar Mills and others.

FIA Cyber Crime Wing Mirpurkhas registered an FIR against Jugal Kishor and seized his mobiles, laptop and other electronic devices. Jugal was found involved in sugar price manipulation on secret WhatApp groups from where sugar prices were being dishonestly and fraudulently ramped-up.

A raiding party headed by Sub Inspector Mehmood Khan Khan arrested Jugal Kishor from his home in Rahim Nagar, Mirpurkhas.

According to the FIR, the Satta mafia in active connivance with each other were operating through their front persons and fraudulently escalated the ex-mill prices of essential commodity (sugar) from Rs69.60 per kg in March 2021 to Rs90 per kg. By doing this, the accused defrauded the masses of at least Rs110billion.

On asking, Kishore informed the FIA officials that he is not registered with any specific sugar mill. He works with various mills like Al-Abbas Sugar Mir, JDW Sugar Mills and others directly without any broker. He also named that Perdeep Sanjhoro, Muhammad Ali Chohan, Imran, Haji Nizam, Shakeel, Devi Das, Mahesh Kumar, Farhan, Shoukat Bukhari, Iqbal and Mahesh Kumar working in different sugar mills are also involved with him.

According to the FIR, the identical matters have been under investigation in FIA Punjab Zone as well. They have ascertained that Jugal Kishor is also a member of one of the WhatsApp group, which apparently supports the stand against him for being in the business of sugar price hike using illegal tactics.

The number of irrelevant third party accounts used for disguising the crime proceeds of illicit and fraudulent Satta (through fraudulent banking and accounting) is likely to run into thousands. The full spectrum of these fake/irrelevant third party accounts will be unearthed during the course of the investigation.

A review of communication on seized digital media revealed that innumerable secret WhatsApp groups of sugar Satta are being operated by the mafia. However, after the initiation of action by the government against the Satta mafia, most of the members have left the group.

The author is a senior business reporter with bylines in leading newspapers and magazines across Pakistan.

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