Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen got bail in another money-laundering case against him today.
Tareen, once a close confidant of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is in hot water for his alleged involvement in the manipulation of the sugar industry. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has registered multiple cases against him and his son.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing today, Tareen, finally, broke down and asked the PM for ‘justice’. “I was a friend. Why are you pushing me to become an enemy?” he asked alluding to cases against him. FIA has asked Tareen and Ali Tareen to appear before it on April 9.
The probe against Tareen started after the report of the sugar inquiry commission last year. The commission had implicated Tareen’s JDW Sugar Mills among other sugar mills for circumventing laws to make profits.
The report had revealed how a sugar cartel comprising 88 mills, including JDW Sugar Mills owned by Tareen, had cheated sugarcane growers and consumers at every step to mint money, resulting in the hike in the price of sugar.
In June 2020, PM Imran Khan said his government has started an action on basis of a sugar inquiry report and that he will “unmask all mafias”.
In August, FIA initiated an investigation into money laundering charges against Tareen’s JWD Group. In November 2020, FIA registered a case against Tareen and son Ali Tareen over money laundering.
As per the FIA, Tareen allegedly transferred Rs3.14 billion to a private company, Farooqi Pulp Private Limited, owned by his son and close relatives. “The transfers, especially after 2011-2012, were patently fraudulent investments which ultimately translated into personal gains for the family member of the JDW CEO,” the FIR alleged.
It further alleged that Ali Tareen purchased cash from the open market in Lahore in a structured manner to remit it to the UK. “Subsequently, in 2016, Ali Khan Tareen remitted approximately US$7.4 million to the United Kingdom for purchasing properties (to be investigated in detail during the course of the investigation) which makes them liable for Anti-Money Laundering investigation,” the FIR quoted in media said.
According to the FIA, Tareen’s son-in-law Waleed Akbar Faruki and Shahid Akbar Faruki also benefitted from the scheme along with Tareen and his son Ali Tareen.
In the second case, Tareen has been accused of corporate fraud of Rs3.6 billion through the purchase of JK Farming Systems Ltd and booking losses through it.
Tareen has also been accused of making “voluminous withdrawals amounting to at least Rs2.2 billion”. The FIA said that these withdrawals were made “fraudulently and dishonestly through a trusted cash rider”.
According to a report, Amir Waris, a cashier at JDW’s Corporate Head Office, deposited large amounts into the personal and business accounts of Tareen and his family members.
The sections under which the case has been lodged against the father-son duo include 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), and 109 (abetment) among others.
Tareen, however, has denied all allegations. He said the FIA’s claims against him are “totally fabricated”. Unfortunate to see them go on another smear campaign against me & my family without establishing anything illegal,” he added.