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July 2, 2015

Scotland Yard says leaked MQM-India paper ‘genuine police document’

National

July 2, 2015

LONDON: The Scotland Yard has confirmed that one of the two documents being circulated about the MQM related money-laundering investigation is a “genuine police document” however, the second one is “not recognised as a genuine police document”.
Speaking to Geo News, a spokesman for the Scotland Yard, when asked to comment to clarify or validate, said that one of the documents “appears to be a genuine police document and a second we do not recognise as a police document”. This correspondent understands that the police now officially own the document which has been released in reference to Sarfraz Merchant while disowns the document in circulation in relation to Tariq Mir.
Scotland Yard warned that the leakage of such documents could have a “possible prejudicial effect” on the “ongoing police investigation”. The spokesman further said: “We are not investigating a possible leak in relation to this matter and will not be drawn into discussing any further documents that may be given to the media by third parties.”
Meanwhile, officers from Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command Unit investigating the money-laundering case related to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) visited the residence of Karachi businessman Sarfraz Merchant to check his “welfare” after a paper linked with the inquiry was mysteriously released in media, causing media storm in Pakistan.
Sarfraz Merchant is currently being investigated by Scotland Yard for the money laundering case involving the MQM and other suspects, among others, include Altaf Hussain, Muhammad Anwar and Tariq Mir. On Tuesday, a “pre-interview briefing paper” was leaked on social media carrying the name of Sarfraz Merchant as the interviewee.
The paper, written by the police, stated that the MQM was being investigated for receiving funds from the Indian government for its operations and that its assets and cash might be criminal because of the alleged illegal origins. The

document also confirmed that two senior MQM leaders had confirmed under oath that two senior MQM leaders had confessed under oath to the British police that they had received funds from the Indian government. The BBC had said the same thing in its report last week, stressing that the MQM was being investigated for accepting prohibited foreign funds the Indian authorities – believed to the country’s top spy agency called RAW.
Police sources confirmed that they had visited Mr Merchant to ask about his well-being and also about the leaked document. When contacted by The News, Sarfraz Merchant confirmed that the police officers were concerned about his safety and security and reviewed the security arrangements. He said: “I have told the police the truthabout the leak. I informed the police about the two men who may have leaked this information in the public domain.”
Sarfraz Merchant had earlier told Geo News that he had shared the document with two MQM linked men who are believed to have leaked it. He confirmed that the document was authentic but not released by him. He also shared his security concerns with the police. It’s understood that the police have stepped up security around the area where Sarfraz Merchant lives.
Sarfraz Merchant, along with Tariq Mir, was arrested in the first week of December 2013 by the Scotland Yard investigators from his central London home and remains on the police ban. He says he was made part of the investigation after making a loan payment of around half a million pounds to two MQM related bank accounts. He stresses that he had never been involved in money-laundering or any other illegal activity.
MQM says that it will not comment on any aspect of the investigation and will make its stance known to the police or to the jury if charges are brought. MQM says it’s fully cooperating with the police and will defend itself against all allegations.

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