LAHORE -  The JIT investigations have rejuvenated the role of Finance Minister Dar in M/s Hudaibiya Paper Mills case after he had exonerated himself from the accusations of facilitator in the dubious monetary transaction of the Mills by means of his First Hajveri Modarba company in April 2000 when he had made a confessional statement before the Allaqa Magistrate under Section 164 of Cr PC.

In the findings, the JIT had recommended for reopening the Hudabiya reference wherein the confessional statement of Dar will also figure in.

The JIT said Dar’s statement was carried out with specific reference to the banking/financial transactions. And what he said was substantially corroborated with documents, banking record/evidence and witness statement forming part of the reference.

Highlighting role of Dar’s company for opening/operating benami accounts of the Sharifs company, it observed that “soon after the promulgation of Protection of Economic Reforms Act 1992, on July 28, 1992, when the respondent number 1 was the Prime Minister, majority of the fake/fraudulent banks accounts were got opened and this fact was also mentioned by Dar in his statement under oath.

To seek his pardon in the said reference, Ishaq Dar in April 2000 urged the NAB for permission to voluntarily file an affidavit.

He appeared before the Allaqa Magistrate on April 25, 2000.

Replying to the court queries Dar said that he was there to voluntarily record his statement which he will do consciously with sound mind and without any fear, duress, pressure or torture on him. He also conceded to the consequential legal liability on him if at any point in time, he would back out from his statement. He had specifically mentioned about the ehtesab reference to make “complete and true disclosure of the facts in respect of the subject ‘ehtesab reference’ Hubabiya Paper Mills Limited.”

In his statement he described himself as hailing from a middle class family who studied CA in UK where he stayed with the family of Masood Ahmad Qazi, also a middle class. He said he excelled in the career during the course of which he also got associated with Lahore Chambers of Commerce of Industries where during the Junejo government he also shared his input in the national budget.

He established his First Hejveri Modarba Company in 1990 with the financial capital of Rs 150 million.  He said that Nawaz Sharif was his batch mate in Government College but their intimacy developed in 1990 on account of his professional acumen.

Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister visited the Chamber at a function where he first met the Qazi family who happened to be old Muslim Leaguers.

In early 1992, PM Nawaz Sharif contacted him to seek credit line of his company against the foreign currency funds as collateral. Sharif sent him photocopies of the four Qazi members asking him to open/operate accounts in their names with different banks with the foreign currency provided by the Sharifs to use as collateral.

He said he expressed reservations over the opening of these banami accounts but Nawaz Sharif assured him that the Qazis had agreed to it. So four benamdar accounts were opened.

He said it was also decided that the two accounts will be opened/operated by him and other two by Naeem Mahmood, a Director of his company.

He stated that accounts of Saeed Ahmad, former Director of his company, and two others were also used to deposit huge money by the Sharifs to use them same as collateral.  He said that the Sharif group of companies made fullest use of the credit line against their foreign currency collateral.

REFERENCES REOPENED TO

FIND NEXUS WITH FLATS

The references against M/s Hudaibiya Papers Mills were reopened in the light of the SC question for examining the evidence and material, if any, already available with the FIA and the NAB relating to having any nexus with the acquisition of London flats or any other assets or pecuniary resources and their origin.

In addition to the record provided by the NAB and the FIA, the JIT brought out further evidence based on the inquiry which the State Bank of Pakistan conducted on April 23, 1999, on receipt of complaint by the then Chief Ehtesab Commissioner Saifur Rehman.

The newly fathomed evidence, as per the JIT, closely connects the investigations of the said two departments. The JIT has as such sought reopening of the year 2000 references against Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, the late Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, Shamim Akhtar, Sabiha Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Safdar, all directors/shareholders and beneficial owners of the said business concern. It has also included incumbent NBP President Saeed Ahmad and Javed Kiyani. They all have been charged with acts of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under Section 9 of the NAB Ordinance.

On the basis of the documentary evidence and statement, the JIT had found out a significant role of the last two accused in these questionable and allegedly illegal transactions.

While examining the record received from different banks and departments, the JIT found out additional evidence which was not previously on record. It unearthed a bank account of Mukhtar Hussain, an employee of Ittefaq Group of Sharif family and other three of Saeed Ahmad, a confidant of Ishaq Dar, which has a close link with the fictitious, fraudulent account operated to cover up the ill-gotten money of the Sharifs through Hudaibiya Paper Mills.

The JIT concluded on the reference of Hudaibiya Mills that a number of fictitious and fraudulent foreign currency accounts were opened in 1991 and loans obtained/secured with the deposits therein used for the benefit of business concerns by the respondents and their close family members. Through an intricate loan structure, completed in 1998, the entire remaining proceeds amounting to Rs 712 million ended in two companies, M/s Hudaibiya Paper Mills and Hudaibiya Engineering in two ratios. Since then these companies have not issued shares against the advance. It is evident from the record that no claim by anyone was made from the companies demanding issuance of shares against the advance or return thereof. This indicated that Siddiqa Sayed Mahfoodh Hashim Khadam and members of the Qazi family (whose names were suggested directly or indirectly by Nawaz Sharif to operate accounts for transaction of the company) transferred such huge funds in the company accounts (as advance against shares subscription) when they were not the actual depositors of these funds.

Hudaibiya Paper Mills Limited settled liabilities of finance lease against the assets towards Al-Towfeeq Company for Investment Funds, Bahrain, to the tune of $ 8 million in January 2000. But the audited accounts do not disclose the identity of the lenders who provided this loan to the company for adjustment of settlement amount to Al-Towfeeq.