close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
March 29, 2021

Action against sugar mafia begins

Top Story

March 29, 2021

ISLAMABAD: In the first major development into the ongoing drive against the sugar Satta mafia, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has called the sugar dealers, who are allegedly linked with the artificial hike in the commodity prices, on March 30.

The FIA Lahore chapter has ordered the bookies to bring the list of all personal and business bank accounts besides list of all anonymous accounts. The dealers were also instructed to bring a list of all family/ benami assets disclosed in amnesty schemes. They were ordered to bring a list of all TTs at home and abroad within a year. The absence and non-cooperation of the summoned bookmakers will result in arrests.

Sheikh Amir Waheed bookie (Chaudhry Sugar Group) has been summoned on April 1; Mustansir Gogi bookie (Ramadan and Al Arabiya Sugar Group) summoned on March 31; Malik Ibad bookie (JDW Sugar Group) summoned on March 30; Malik Majid bookie (JDW Sugar Group) summoned on March 31; Asad Bhaya bookie (RYK Sugar Group) summoned on April 2; Aslam Bhalli bookie (Sharif/Shamim/Kanjuani Sugar Group) summoned on March 30.

The FIA investigators have detected deposits of “Satta money” of Rs70 billion in over four hundred accounts directly/ indirectly linked to sugar dealers, mills owners and their front-men.

“So far, 424 bank accounts of sugar Satta players have been frozen (75pc so far), which had total deposits of Rs70 billion, including sugar Satta money fraudulently extracted from the pocket of poor people by escalating ex-mill prices of sugar in the market,” a member of FIA investigation team told this correspondent on Sunday.

One of the three FIA investigation teams, during its forensic analysis of 303 accounts, majority of them linked to Satta dealers, mill owners and their front-men, found it illegally carried billions of rupees on account of black/unaccounted money, added the FIA official seeking anonymity.

“The Satta mafia managed this fraudulent escalation amidst a hoax of impending sugar shortages, when sufficient sugar stocks were lying in sugar mills and godowns. It has also been discovered that they were laundering the crime proceeds of sugar Satta through various fake/benami/3rd party accounts and assets,” the FIA official further disclosed.

At the same time, the FIA Karachi arrested seven accused and registered cases against them under the Money Laundering Act (MLA). Their four-day remand was obtained by the FIA, which stated that the accused were involved creating an artificial sugar crisis. The bank accounts of the accused have been seized. The FIA Lahore team, which otherwise took the lead in sugar Satta investigation, had asked the FIA Karachi team to start a crackdown against millers, their front-men and Satta dealers by taking more evidence against them if required, an FIA official said. An official letter reads: "With the FIA Lahore’s drive, now we have sent a confidential report of Satta mafia to FIA Sindh as FIA Lahore's inquiry team “discovered irrefutable evidence of clandestine Satta (speculation) through various 16 secret whatapps groups where sugar prices were being dishonestly ramped-up.” “The Satta mafia, acting in active connivance with each other, operating directly and through their front-persons, fraudulently escalated the ex-mill prices of sugar (essential commodity especially of the poor) from Rs69.50 per kg to Rs90 per kg and defrauded the masses of at least Rs110 billion,” reads the letter FIA Karachi received on Saturday evening.

Examination of the sugar Satta whatapps groups seized by FIA Lahore revealed that over 20 Satta players of Karachi/Sindh were actively participating in Satta with connivance of millers and digital evidence of 17,500 pages has been prepared, reads the letter exclusively made available with Geo News.

Those dealers who now are now under FIA Karachi's radar include Haji Zameer, Furqan aias Baba, Danish Karachiwala, Khem Chand Dinani, Santosh Kumar, Chunni Lal and Jugal Kishore alias Manga Ram. Those agents who are now on FIA Lahore’s radar include Malik Abad, Asad Pervaiz Butt and Sheikh Sajid. Besides, Maulvi Zaheer, Waqas Ashraf Chawla, Malik Majid, Sufyan Malik, Furqan Baba, Zahid Malik, Rashid Multani, Amir Asif, Qaiser Saleem, Owais Bilal, Khurram Dawai, Khurram Shafi, Nadeem Aftab, Sheikh Amir Waheed, Mirza Nadeem, Mustansir Gogi, Asad Bhaiya, Sheikh Tufail, Imran Tufail, Sohail Butt,, Junaid alias Goga Butt, Mahmood Bhalli, Aslam Bhalli, Haji Heera, Atif Paracha, Mushtaq Paracha, Omar Salahuddin and Faisal Ziauddin are also included in the list.

The FIA inquiry teams are claiming that the Satta players are allegedly linked to the Tareen Group, Omni Group, Sharif Group, Alliance Group, Al-Mueez (Thal Group), Hamza Sugar Mill, RYK Group, etc. Before this, a special team of the FBR created a demand of over Rs469 billion against 61 sugar mills, said one of the investigators adding, these mills are either directly or indirectly in the ownership of Jahangir Khan Tareen, Moonis Elahi, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, Suleman Shahbaz, Chaudhry Majeed, Mian Munir, Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf, Faisal Mukhtar, Mian Ilyas, Javed Shafi, Tariq Shafi, Mian Aslam, AG Majeed of Omni Group, Kamran Chatta, Shamin Khan, Noon family, Javed Kiani, Butt family, Chaudhry Waheed, Dareshak family, Sheikh Ahsan, Ali Altaf, Sheikh Anis and others.

On the other hand, President Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Iskander M Khan asked the government to listen to the appeal of All Pakistan Sugar Dealers Association, which has put genuine issues of sugar supply, etc. before the concerned ministries. “Sugar prices may jump up to Rs110 per kg in coming days if the government fails to ensure sugar supply in the country,” Khan said. "There is uncertainty in the market. FIA and FBR teams are harassing the millers and sugar dealers.”

The FIA’s raids on mills and dealers' offices would aggravate the situation, said the PSMA leader. “This industry has almost collapsed. The prime minister should take notice of it by reviewing the policy of crackdown on the millers unnecessarily. The government must save the industry," he added.