Moonis denies links to alleged frontmen

F.P. Report

LAHORE: PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi, in his response to Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) questionnaire in a money laundering case, has denied any links to Nawaz Bhatti and Mazhar Abbas — the “low-profile individuals” who, according to the FIA, lent Elahi their identities to set up the RYK Sugar Mills Ltd from his allegedly ill-gotten funds.

The FIA had booked Elahi and seven others, including Bhatti and Abbas, on charges of money laundering in a case pertaining to a sugar scam on June 14. In his response submitted on Thursday to the 33 questions asked by the agency, Elahi denied knowing Bhatti and Abbas or the fact that they were government employees.

He also answered in the negative to a host of other questions about the duo, such as whether Elahi or his family had helped Abbas secure his job; if he knew that the two held shares in Rahim Yar Khan (RYK) /Alliance Sugar Mills; if he had provided any financial assistance to them; and if he knew that Bhatti was a signatory of at least 32 bank accounts with a credit turnover of around Rs24 billion, etc. Elahi also denied using the influence of his father — former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi — to secure a no-objection certificate for setting up RYK Sugar Mills. In response to the question on the facts of the case indicating that an orchestrated scheme of “corporate layering” was employed to disguise the beneficiaries of RYK Sugar Mills, the PML-Q leader said the allegation was “incorrect and misconceived” as all his shares were “duly declared”.