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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Buyer not rich enough to buy jewel watch set from Imran

The Income Tax Returns of the watch shop ‘Art of Time’ further reveal that the shop had kept the highest stock of Rs1.8 million in these five years

By Kasim Abbasi
December 07, 2022
The gifts include Diamond MasterGraff Tourbillon Minute Repeater with Makkah Map Dial GM2751, Diamond Cufflinks with 2.12ct H IF and 2.11ct I IF Round Diamonds GR46899, Diamond Gents Ring 7.20cts, VVSl Rose Gold Pen Set with Pave Diamonds and Enamel Mecca Map. — Exclusive
The gifts include Diamond MasterGraff Tourbillon Minute Repeater with Makkah Map Dial GM2751, Diamond Cufflinks with 2.12ct H IF and 2.11ct I IF Round Diamonds GR46899, Diamond Gent's Ring 7.20cts, VVSl Rose Gold Pen Set with Pave Diamonds and Enamel Mecca Map. — Exclusive 

ISLAMABAD: The wealth statement and tax returns of Muhammad Shafiq and his watch shop Art of Time show no clue that he could afford to buy the famous jewel watch set from ex-prime minister Imran Khan for 50 million rupees, reveals official data available with The News. 

The net income of the shop ‘Art of Time’, according to the tax returns filed by Muhammad Shafiq for the year 2018 to 2022, is approximately 12 million rupees, reflects the income tax returns of Shafiq’s watch shop business. Interestingly, the wealth statement of Muhammad Shafiq during these five years shows his total assets to have grown from Rs2.8 million in 2018 to Rs10.6 million in 2022. Further, details of Muhammad Shafiq’s bank account show that from 2019 till now, Shafiq had the highest balance of up to rupees 4.5 million in his bank accounts and had withdrawn a maximum of 10 lakh rupees during this period.

The Income Tax Returns of the watch shop ‘Art of Time’ further reveal that the shop had kept the highest stock of Rs1.8 million in these five years. Whereas net purchases by Art of Time from 2018 to 2020 stood at around 20 million rupees. This means that the total stock of watches purchased by the Art of Time in all these years was worth 20 million rupees only.

It is pertinent to mention here that Imran Khan had deposited sale receipts of the watch for 50 million rupees to this same shop and to this same man, Muhammad Shafiq. The former premier along with his party members are repeatedly claiming that the famous jewel class gifted watch by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Suleman was sold to this man -- Muhammad Shafiq -- for 50 million rupees in January 2019.

A well-placed government official on condition of anonymity approved the authenticity of these documents related to Muhammad Shafiq and revealed that an inquiry was also being done on the matter by the authorities.

Explaining further, the source said that the authorities are perplexed how can a man sell a watch worth 100 million rupees for just 50 million rupees. This Rs100 million value of this watch was too assessed by IK’s own government. “We are also intrigued that why would someone leave a private receipt in official records?” said the official. It is important to mention here that these receipts were not found in the Toshakhana record but from the Prime Minister’s House, in the office of Military Secretary to Prime Minister.

When questioned about Muhammad Shafiq, the source replied that the authorities are investigating Shafiq’s whereabouts and the NAB is also looking for him in the Toshakhana case. According to sources, Muhammad Shafiq has now sold this watch shop at the start of this current year and has fled to Dubai.

This correspondent contacted Fawad Chaudhary and Shahbaz Gill to take their view regarding the matter but none responded. The question sent to them was, “The wealth statement and tax returns of Muhammad Shafiq and his shop ‘Art of Time’ show no proof of his affordability to buy a watch for 50 million rupees. His acc details along with his business tax returns and wealth statement show that his total business capital was 2 million rupees. His total assets grew from 2m to 10m from 2018 to 2022. Q) How is it possible that such a man could buy such an expensive watch? Please comment. Your immediate response will be highly appreciated.”

Whereas, Umar Zahoor Farooq who possesses the same watch right now, when contacted by The News, insisted that he had bought the watch from Farah Khan in 2019 for 280 million rupees. Umar said that Imran Khan had sent a notice to him in which he also mentioned of selling the watch to Art of Time for 50 million rupees. In his view, all claims by PTI and Imran Khan regarding the gifted watch were lies.

Umar Zahoor Farooq previously displayed this Special Edition Graff watch – one of its kind made by the finest craftsmen in the world – before the camera and claimed of buying it from Farah Khan in Dubai back in 2019 in April for 2 million dollars, which stood at around 280 million rupees at that time.

On the other hand, the receipt of the sale of this same special edition watch to Art of Time, was deposited by the former premier himself before the Cabinet Division. The receipt dated 22nd January 2019 present with The News, specifically mentions of purchasing a set containing a Graff gents watch, a ring, pair of cufflinks and a pen from Imran Khan.

On the same day on 22nd January, official documents of the State Bank of Pakistan show that Imran Khan deposited 20.1 million rupees in government treasury (20 percent of 100 million rupees assessed value by Toshakhana). It is not clear whether the watch was sold before depositing Rs20.1 million in the government treasury or it was deposited after Khan sold the watch.

Whereas, Umar Farooq Zahoor said on Geo that he received a call from the then accountability minister Shahzad Akbar and was informed about the gifted watch and was asked if he was interested in buying it. Umar claimed that he bought this watch through Farah Khan, who came to Dubai and took two million dollars in cash (7.5-million-dirham approx.).

If Umar Farooq’s story is to be believed, Imran Khan made a whooping profit of 250 million rupees. Whereas If Imran Khan’s deposited sale receipts and his view is to be believed, he got a profit of 30 million rupees.

The income tax returns of Muhammad Shafiq’s business for the year 2018 show that the business’s total income stood at around 2 million rupees during this whole year. The net purchases for the year by Art of Time stood a little over 8 million rupees. The cost of sales by the business for year 2018 was around 8.1 million.

In 2019, the documents available with this correspondent show that this watch shop generated a total income of 3.38 million rupees with opening stock of 0.85 million rupees and closing stock of 0.93 million rupees.

In 2020, the total income declared by Art of Time was approximately 1.7 million rupees with opening stock of 0.93 million rupees and closing stock of 1.8 million rupees. In 2021 and 2022, the watch shop showed total income of nearly 5 million rupees during both these years.

In addition to this, Muhammad Shafiq’s wealth statement shows that his total assets increased from rupees 2.8 million to 10.6 million rupees from 2018 to 2022. In 2020, Shafiq had also disclosed a 19 Tola gold set belonging to his wife but nowhere did he mention about the so-called watch bought from Imran Khan, the former prime minister.

Further, the details of Shafiq bank account show highest balance of up to rupees 4.5 million rupees from 2019 to 2022. The transactions details also reflects that a maximum of 10 lakh rupees have been withdrawn by Shafiq in these all years.

The jewel class watch box gifted to Imran Khan by Saudi Prince MBS had over 2,000 diamonds weighing almost 41.54 carats in total and was valued at around 100 million rupees by the Cabinet Division during Imran Khan’s tenure. Now, the same set is valued at over 1.7 billion rupees by TimeZone Watch Ltd, Dubai.