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LAHORE: Disgruntled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen and his son Ali Tareen appeared before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore on Friday in connection with the alleged money laundering and fraud cases in the multi-billion sugar scam investigation.

The FIA has, so far, registered a total of four FIRs against the PTI senior leader and his family members, accusing them of committing money laundering of Rs 7 billion and cheating the public (stakeholders).

Hours before the arrival of the PTI leader, Ali Tareen appeared before a combined investigation team (CIT) of the FIA amid stringent security arrangements. Sources said the investigators quizzed Ali for about an hour and 30 minutes and the accused only responded to five out of 10 questions in written.

Among other questions, the FIA asked Ali why he sold his company JK Farming to his father; whether he had advertised the sale of his business and how many potential buyers had contacted the company and how much did they bid? The agency also sought documents showing how the sale of sugarcane business was valued at Rs 4.35 billion.

When Ali left the premises of FIA, Jahangir Tareen accompanied by his company’s secretary Maqsood Malhi reached the FIA building and were quizzed by investigators for about an hour and 20 minutes. Malhi was also summoned by the FIA in the sugar crisis probe.

It may be mentioned that lawyers of the Tareen family had earlier responded to all the questions of the FIA in detail but the agency seemed more interested in making the PTI leader and his son appear before the investigators.

The source said the FIA a couple of weeks ago had sent a 10-point questionnaire to Tareen, his family members and all the chief financial officers (CFOs) of the JDW Sugar Mills and Farooqi Pulp Mills.

Later in the day, the source said, the FIA investigators quizzed Tareen about the transaction of Rs 3.15 billion that he allegedly made in the account of his son-in-law’s company Farooqi Pulp Mills despite that fact that the account in question had been closed since 2009. The source added that the transaction was allegedly made from the account JDW Sugar Mills, which is a public-listed company, with taking on board the shareholders.

The FIA also asked the estranged PTI leader how he purchased his son’s company JK Farming in Rs 4.35 billion, the source said, adding Tareen submitted some of the questions in writing and subsequently left.

Earlier, the FIA had frozen nearly 36 bank accounts of the Tareen family after finding out “proofs” that these accounts were being used for money laundering, cheating the stakeholders and supporting satta agents (speculative pricing players) to create artificial price hike in the market of sugar.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021