NAB grills Zulfiqar Bukhari over offshore companies | Pakistan Today

NAB grills Zulfiqar Bukhari over offshore companies

–Zulfi Bukhari says he is ‘a British national, not answerable to NAB’

–IHC to hear petition seeking removal of Zulfi’s name from Black List tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday gave a one week time to billionaire Zulfiqar Bukhari, Imran Khan’s close friend, to submit a formal response on questions pertaining to his six offshore companies, Pakistan Today has learnt.

Following orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Zulfiqar Bukhari appeared before a Combined Investigation Team (CIT) at NAB’s Rawalpindi office on Monday to explain his position on allegedly establishing six offshore companies in UK and to further explain if all the companies had been established with money transferred from Pakistan or if he had earned that money in the UK as he had earlier claimed to not have sent any money abroad.

According to sources, CIT grilled Zulfi for one and a half hour with questions regarding his offshore companies. The CIT also handed him a questionnaire and sought a response within one week, over which, Zulfi requested the CIT to give him a two week time.

Speaking of the questionnaire, sources said that CIT has sought a response over questions like how he established the offshore companies [from where did he obtain the needed funds].

It has been learnt that Zulfi has sent a letter to NAB Rawalpindi stating that he is a British national and is “not answerable to NAB”. Upon this, NAB Rawalpindi, in line with its official obligation and also on the basis of non-appearance, has decided to recommend putting his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

NAB headquarters, on the recommendation of NAB Rawalpindi, had reportedly forwarded his name to Ministry of Interior on May 8, 2018, for his placement on the no-fly list, however, the ministry, instead of doing so, had put his name on the Black List, which was not what was requested and was against the law, sources said.

They added that NAB might seek a clarification from the Interior Ministry to explain under which law did the ministry placed his name on the Black List instead of ECL without the bureau’s clarification, which was the recommendatory body.

It is pertinent to mention that the disclosure of Zulfiqar Bukhari’s name in Black List came to NAB’s notice through media reports when he was about to board a chartered flight along with PTI chief Imran Khan, Khan’s spouse Bushra Bibi, Aleem Khan, Aun Chaudhry and another person to perform Umrah. He was apprehended by the immigration staff at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad, with the help of Integrated Border Management System (IBMS) on June 11.

Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC, who is hearing Zulfi Bukhari’s petition seeking removal of his name from the Black List and a petition that seeks action against the officials of Interior Ministry and the Noor Khan airbase, from where he was allowed to take the special flight to Saudi Arabia, will take up both cases on Wednesday.

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