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LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) senior leader and former federal minister Moonis Elahi has claimed that the money laundering cases initiated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against him and his family members would be withdrawn if he betrays Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

“If I tell the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) today that I will support you, all cases would be closed,” he said while speaking to the media after his appearance at FIA’s Temple Road office on Thursday where he appeared to record his statement in an alleged money laundering case registered on Tuesday.

He said the FIA, at the behest of the PML-N government, registered the FIR against him and his family members just to divert attention from the provincial budget which could not be passed despite the passage of two day owing to a deadlock between the treasury and opposition benches.

He said the FIA has given him a questionnaire. “However, the FIA’s purpose is not to conduct an investigation, but to arrest me,” he claimed and added that agency had not issued him a notice till date and that he told the agency he would appear again, if summoned. He said that all information regarding his finances was available in his tax returns.

Earlier in the day, Moonis arrived at the FIA office at around 8:30am and remained there for more than four hours. He also voluntarily appeared before the FIA on Wednesday evening to join the investigation, but he was sent back.

It may be mentioned that the FIA used to release press statements whenever a suspect is summoned to the agency in the sugar inquiry investigations but this time the agency did not release a single word and the spokesperson could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

On Tuesday, the FIA’s Corporate Crime Circle had booked Moonis, his father Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi and PA Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti and six others on charges of money laundering in an alleged sugar scam.

According to the FIR in which the state has been the complainant, the no-objection certificate for setting up the RYK/Alliance Sugar Mills was issued in June 2007 when incumbent Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi was the Punjab chief minister, thus his “culpability will be determined during investigation”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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