Friday February 23, 2024

PTI’s Parvez Elahi, Moonis booked in new NAB graft reference

The anti-graft body files reference against father-son duo for "plundering national treasury and receiving bribes"

By Web Desk
December 02, 2023
PTI President Chaudhry Parvez (left) and his son Moonis Elahi. — X/ChParvezElahi/MoonisElahi6/File
PTI President Chaudhry Parvez (left) and his son Moonis Elahi. — X/ChParvezElahi/MoonisElahi6/File

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvez Elahi remains entangled in legal battles as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a corruption reference of over Rs1 billion against him, his son Moonis Elahi and others on Saturday.

The anti-graft body filed the reference against the father-son duo for allegedly plundering the national treasury and receiving kickbacks.

Former Punjab chief minister Elahi and Moonis have been named as the main accused in the NAB reference which mentions that both the PTI leaders had illegally approved 116 development schemes, according to Geo News.

The NAB, in its reference, also accused Elahi and his son of receiving bribes by awarding contracts to their "favourite contractors". It also mentioned that Elahi embezzled more than Rs744.5 million in bribes and kickbacks.

The reference also stated that the accountant kept depositing the kickbacks in the accounts of Moonis and his family.

Elahi's son deposited €1.61 million in his foreign bank account, while his family members deposited more than Rs304 million in their accounts.

The reference stated that the accused were found guilty in the investigation, therefore, the accountability court should conduct a trial and punish them accordingly.

The senior PTI leader was initially arrested on June 1 from outside his residence in a Rs70 million graft case related to the embezzlement of development funds allocated for the Gujrat district. Since then, the former Punjab chief minister has been released several times only to be arrested immediately in different cases. 

Meanwhile, the caretaker federal government has initiated a process to bring back Moonis, who has reportedly been living in Spain since December 2022 to avoid “political victimisation” in the country.

To bring him back, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had approached the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) for the issuance of a red notice to detain the PTI leader in a money laundering case.

In September this year, a local court in Lahore issued a bailable arrest warrant for Moois — a close aide of incarcerated PTI Chairman Imran Khan — in a case relating to money laundering.

Moonis rejects corruption allegations

Responding to the development, Moonis rebuked the corruption allegations claiming that the €1 million along with other funds across various accounts are "declared".

"Today NAB has issued a press release stating that my father and I are involved in corruption and they have filed a reference against us claiming an amount of Rs744 million," he said in a statement on the microblogging platform X.

"Apparently this involves 1 million euros in my account. The 1 million euros are mine along with all funds in our accounts [...] they have been declared in FBR with the source of funds and money trail," he added.

He also claimed that the anti-graft watchdog itself cleared him and his father of all charges when they filed an application of "9C" in the court.

"NAB itself told the court that it had looked into our assets [going back] 20 years."