Bahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz on Thursday said that he was innocent of any financial wrongdoing, claiming that the National Crime Agency (NCA) had been conducting an inquiry for the past one year but did not find him guilty.
Speaking to the media during the inauguration of Bahria Town office in Peshawar, the property tycoon said that his children were overseas Pakistanis and British citizens. He added that only a settlement had been conducted on a civil matter.
“The NCA says we did not commit any crime. The money should be brought back to Pakistan and others like me should also bring their wealth into the country,” he said.
He also spoke about Bahria Town’s settlement with the Supreme Court (SC) according to which the company was supposed to pay Rs460 billion for land that it occupies in the Malir District. “We have an understanding with the apex court. We will pay back the money even if I have to sell my house,” he said
Riaz said that he didn’t have any settlement with the government of Pakistan. “As per the settlement with the court, this money will be given to Pakistan,” he added.
Riaz referred to an out-of-court £190m settlement between him and the NCA. The settlement also included a property worth £50 million. It originated as a result of an investigation into Riaz by the UK agency.
“In August 2019 eight account freezing orders were secured at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in connection with funds totalling around £120 million. These followed an earlier freezing order in December 2018 linked to the same investigation for £20 million. All of the account freezing orders relate to money held in UK bank accounts,” read a statement from the NCA.
The UK crime agency had said that all assets would be returned to the state of Pakistan.