MQM Chief arrested in raid at residence by Special Operations Unit of London Metropolitan Police
MQM Rabita Committee denies news of arrest, insists Hussain is at home
Business centres, transport, educational institutes shutting down across various parts of Sindh
Protests and aerial firing reported in areas of Karachi, Hyderabad
Security on high alert in the metropolis
Chief of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Altaf Hussain was arrested on Tuesday by London Metropolitan police on charges of money laundering, a private news channel reported.
The police has confirmed arrest of a ’60-year-old’ man from North-West London on money laundering charges but has not disclosed the exact identity as the British police do not name suspects until they are charged.
According to the sources, the MQM chief was taken in to custody after a raid by London Police’s Special Operations Unit at his residence in North West London. His residence has been sealed.
He is currently at the Central London police station.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the the arrest of MQM chief was of an extremely sensitive matter. He said that the government will take all legal angles into account.
Moreover, he has directed his party members to avoid giving media statements and keep regard of the diplomatic ties with the British Government.
MQM DENIES NEWS OF ARREST
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders on Tuesday held a press conference following the news of arrest.
MQM leader Nusrat Nadeem addressed the press conference from London via telephone.
Nadeem said that the MQM chief is at his home and is constantly in contact with party members.
He appealed the party workers and public to remain peaceful and pay no heed to rumours.
REACTION IN KARACHI
Immediately after the news of Hussain’s arrest, Karachi Stock Exchange 100 index dropped by more than 780 points.
The market is now recovering.
Business centres, shops and educational institutes were being closed down across the metropolis, as well as various parts of Sindh; including Hyderabad, Sukkur and Nawab Shah.
There have also been reports of aerial firing and resulting injuries in Gulistan-e-Johar, Natha Khan and Baldia Town.
The British High Commission has also been temporarily closed in the city while security is on high alert across Karachi.
MQM Rabita Committee Aminul Haq has said that the party will issue a statement regarding the event and will inform everyone about the situation.
MQM is expected to hold a press conference at 3pm.Meanwhile, MQM leader Farogh Naseem has denied the news of Altaf Hussain’s arrest saying that the London police arrived at Hussain’s residence only to record his statement.
On May 26, Senior MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar addressed a large rally to disclose that Hussain’s bank accounts were being frozen in London and asked MQM supporters to continue their struggle against the British authorities.
Investigations of charges of money laundering against Hussain initiated back in December 2012.
The London Metropolitan Police raided his residence and office in London on December 6 under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in connection with the investigation of Dr Imran Farooq murder case.
In a letter written in July 2013, the London police confirmed that investigations were going on, adding that ‘a considerable amount of money’ was recovered during the raids at both locations. The money was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.