LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency on Monday submitted before the Lahore High Court that Chaudhry Raasikh Elahi, son of PTI President Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, and other family members were not...
LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday submitted before the Lahore High Court that Chaudhry Raasikh Elahi, son of PTI President Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, and other family members were not cooperating with the agency in the investigation of a money-laundering case where a large amount of money was deposited with the bank account of a low-level employee of the Punjab Assembly. In a report submitted before the LHC in a petition by Rasikh Elahi, Tahreem Elahi, and Zahra Elahi, seeking to quash the FIR registered against them for money-laundering, the FIA report pleaded that the petition be dismissed.
The FIA report said the FIR against the petitioners was registered on a referral sent by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) providing details that a PA employee, Qaisar Iqbal Bhatti, was using his bank account to route the black money to different individuals for the purpose of laundering it. The report provided details of banking transactions made from the accused’s account to different individuals, including the petitioners (Rs. 83 million to Rasikh, Rs. 27 million to Tahreem, and Rs. 5 million to Zahra), who are on ad-interim bails in this case.
The report stated that on January 24, the ACE had registered a criminal case against Qaisar Iqbal Bhatti, a low-wage employee of the PA (peon), who was allegedly involved in corrupt practices and accumulated assets beyond his known source of income and sought investigations into the money- laundering in the matter.
The report revealed that another FIA inquiry regarding suspicious transactions was also under investigation against the accused on the report of the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU). Later, it transpired that Bhatti had been involved in inexplicable transactions of Rs 175 million. The record of the banks further revealed that Bhatti had a turnover of Rs 811 million and €4,000 in his bank accounts that showed transactions with the petitioners, upon which the petitioners were served with notices to appear before the inquiry officer along with the requisite record.
However, the FIA informed the court that the petitioners had failed to appear before the inquiry officer despite being issued notices twice, and their reply was incomplete, without any explanation for the queries sent to them in the notices.The report said one of the petitioners admitted to receiving the aforesaid amount in their bank accounts on the plea that the said amount was received as consideration for the shares they held in M/s Argo Tractor Pvt. Ltd. However, this stance was belied by the fact that the said company had been defunct since 2014, while the petitioner received the amount in 2020. They had failed to answer the legitimate source of the transaction—the PA employee has no relationship with them or their family. Another petitioner claimed that the said transactions were against the purchase of land that could not mature. However, no proof was presented for this claim.