Pakistan registers case against London-based Altaf for terror financing

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has filed a case against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain – who is living in London on self-exile – on charges of terror financing and money laundering, it emerged on Monday.

On September 20, 2017, the complaint of Sarfaraz Anwar Merchant was received against Altaf Hussain Founder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MOM) and his accomplices by Director FIA Sindh Karachi, according to the FIR.

According to details Sarfaraz Anwar Merchant whilst living in London U.K. was arrested by the Metropolitan Police after a raid on 5th of December 2013, alleging against him the offence of money laundering in relation to an investigation being conducted into the funds held and controlled by MOM Political Party Pakistan.

“After I was granted bail and during the course of litigation, a document dated 15.04.2015, titled as ‘Pre Interview Briefing’ was handed to me by the Police, gave the background of the case,” Merchant has told in FIR, copy of which is also available with The Frontier Post.

“Being aggrieved of target because of the unlawful activities of the MOM, having being arrested and victim of the circumstances, I started to probe further with a view to find out the truth and to analyze the affairs of MOM and activities of Altaf Hussain,” said Merchant, adding that having gone into the details he found, that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MOM) was registered with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as political party of Pakistan with Altaf Hussain as its founder leader.

It is pertinent to mention that MOM has not declared the source of funds, in that it is apparent from the investigation that the MOM is a ‘Foreign Aided Party” as defined by the Political Parties Order 2002, he further said. “A further investigation and from the document supplied by the Metropolitan Police, it is apparent that it is being aided and funded by India, an enemy country, where it has now revealed that their agents are and have been actively working in Pakistan, and with some emphasis in Karachi”.

“It was stated in the said background given by the Metropolitan Police that during a search after obtaining a Search Warrant of home address in London, of Mr. Altaf Hussain leader of MOM Political Party documents were seized in addition to the aforementioned cash, which containing a list of weapons and their prices”.

It was noted from the document supplied to me that the purchase of arms and ammunition was for a value of Rs.3, 833,110/- which was converted @ Rs 61.00 to US $ 62,838 out of an amount of US $ 27.000 leaving a balance of US $35.838. It should be kept in mind that the rate of exchange the rate of Indian Rupees, as this was not the rate of Pakistani Rupees, he told FIA.

The weapons mentioned in the said list of weapons seized by the Metropolitan Police and being Police evidence handed over to me clearly showed that they were not regular weapons, but were the weapons of destruction. I am aware that similar weapons were seized in various raids in Pakistan, he further informed. “In addition to the above, total cash assets seized was in the region of GBP-510,000”.

The taking of such funds as aforesaid amounts to a party being a ‘Foreign Aided Party’ and it is also apparent that it is operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan, being an offence under the said Political Parties Order 2002.

The above facts constitute the commission of offences punishable under Sections 11(H), 11 (I), 11 (J) Anti Terrorism Act 1997 & 121, 122, 123A, 447-A, 406, 468, 471, 477-A/109 PPC R/W 3&4 Anti Money Laundering Act 2010. Hence, upon approval of competent authority, the registration of the case against accused persons namely Altaf Hussain and his accomplices in UK & Pakistan and others have occurred.

The investigation of the case is taken up by AD Muhammad All Abro, according to FIR.