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Thursday July 07, 2022

Foreign funding case: PTI submits Arif Naqvi’s affidavit in its defence

In the affidavit submitted before the ECP, Arif Naqvi confirmed that he had raised over USD $2 million for PTI’s political campaigns

March 30, 2022
Combo shows Prime Minister Imran Khan and Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi. -The News/File
Combo shows Prime Minister Imran Khan and Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi. -The News/File

LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Arif Naqvi, the founder of Abraaj group who was arrested in the UK on the charges of hundreds of millions of dollars fraud in the United States, confirmed in writing through an affidavit that he had raised millions of dollars funding for the ruling party.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf submitted an affidavit of Abraaj group’s founder Arif Naqvi to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on March 15 as evidence to prove the funding was genuine. In the affidavit submitted before the ECP, Arif Naqvi confirmed that he had raised over USD $2 million for PTI’s political campaigns.

The affidavit submitted by the PTI to ECP has confirmed the allegations of former FIA DG Bashir Memon who in a television interview last year had alleged that Prime Minister summoned him and scolded him for initiating an inquiry against Arif Naqvi’s company.

According to Memon, the Prime Minister asked him, “Don’t you know Arif Naqvi is my friend and he has funded our party? Why is your agency after him?”

The affidavit, a copy of which is available with The News, was handed over to PTI by Arif Naqvi on the ruling party’s request to submit in the ECP foreign fundingcase. It is unclear if he signed it before or after his arrest in the United Kingdom.

Arif Naqvi says in the affidavit: “I have collected the funds amounting to US $2,121,500/- in the account titled Wooton Cricket Limited (WCL) and transferred to the PTI account in Pakistan for the period 2012 to 2013. The Wootton Cricket Limited (WCL) Company was 100 percent owned by me in my personal capacity and was not a multinational and neither the contributor of the funds and only acted as a convenient and traceable aggregator of funds as a conduct for the transfer of funds to Pakistan.”

Arif Naqvi is currently under house arrest in London, fighting extradition to the United States on charges of money-laundering and fraud. He was arrested in April 2019 by Scotland Yard on behalf of the US govt after his multi-billion Dollars Abraaj group collapsed and he faces nearly 300 years in jail if extradited.

Arif Naqvi whose full name is given in the affidavit as Arif Masood Naqvi, son of Mr Masood Ali Naqvi, resident of Exhibition Road, London, says in the affidavit that he voluntarily participated in the funding and raised funds, donations and contributions from others for PTI in the “jurisdiction of the UAE and I collected the funds, contributions and donations (collectively referred to as “funds”) from the year 2012-2013”.

Arif Naqvi’s affidavit, available with this publication, says: “That I categorically state that I have collected/received funds in form of donations and fundraising events for PTI “Not Prohibited Funds” from only Pakistani Expatriates and Pakistani nationals, resident (whether permanently or temporarily) and living Overseas.

“Regarding the highlighted transactions in relation to WCL and the ensuing queries and to the best of my knowledge, I have not collected any fund from any person of non-Pakistani origin, company (public or private) or any other prohibited source as defined under Rule 6 (3) of the Political parties Order, 2002.”

Arif Naqvi says in the affidavit that all amounts collected in the books of WCL were sent to PTI’s official account and “were totally reconciled and I have been told that and believe, followed the correct process to become fully reflected in PTI audited accounts submitted to Election Commission of Pakistan.

Naqvi adds: “All amounts sent to Pakistan were through banking channels, no other methods or any route was used to transfer money to PTI-Pakistan by WCL. That whatever started herein above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.”

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