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Friday, May 31, 2024

Criminal case filed against Shehzad Akbar’s group by Umar Farooq Zahoor over fake cases

Last week, Judge Ghulam Murtaza Virk of Judicial Magistrate Lahore cleared businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor in two cases of money laundering - registered against Mr Zahoor by his former wife Sophia Mirza and Shahzad Akbar.

Police authorities in Islamabad have registered a criminal case against former accountability minister Shehzad Akbar, model Sophia Mirza, and others for registering false and vindictive cases against businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor in the summer of 2020 – when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) was in power.

According to a copy of the FIR registered at Islamabad Secretariat Police Station, a case for criminal investigation has been formally registered against Mirza Shahzad Akbar, Sophia Mirza (whose real name is Khushbakhat Mirza), her sister Mariam Mirza, Maira Khurram, Umaid Butt, and Ali Mardan Shah under Sections 420, 468, 471, 385, 386, 389, 500 and 506 of PPC 1860. The FIR has been registered for cheating, preparation of forged documents, extortion of money, defamation, and criminal intimidation.

As per the story of FIR, an inquiry No. 72/20 against Umar Farooq Zahoor and others was initiated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Corporate Crime Circle (CCC) Lahore by treating an application submitted by his ex-wife Khushbakht Mirza as a source report. It further reveals that the persons nominated in FIR acted in connivance to extort money from businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor by registration of false cases against him at FIA Corporate Crime Circle Lahore.

Read more: Umar Farooq Zahoor acquitted in two fabricated money-laundering cases

The FIR application in particular mentions the role of Shehzad Akbar who used the cabinet to run a campaign against Umar Farooq Zahoor. The FIR says: “After the registration of the aforesaid criminal cases, Mr. Shehzad Akbar the then Special Advisor to Prime Minister (PM) on Accountability, for illegal monetary gains, fraudulently obtained approval from the Cabinet under Section 188 CrPC 1898 by concealing the fact that the cases have already been closed at Switzerland and Norway.

The Applicant joined the investigation in the year 2023 and the Joint Investigation Team constituted for the investigation of FIR No.36/20 and 40/20 after a thorough investigation reached a conclusion that the allegations in the aforesaid FIRs are false, frivolous, and concocted. Subsequently, the JIT FIA with the approval of the Board, submitted a Cancellation Report under Section 173 CrPC before the Competent Courts in both the FIRs. The Learned Court accepted the Cancellation Reports and allowed the cancellation of FIRs No. 36/20 and 40/20 vide Orders dated 29.04.2023 and 11.05.2023 respectively.”

The FIR says Sophia Mirza (Khushbakht Mirza), who married Umar Farooq Zahoor in 2006, initiated a custody case against the applicant in order to blackmail him and extort money from him. It says: “Umar Farooq Zahoor also paid her a hefty sum of Rs. 10,00,000 in the year 2013 on the directions of the Honorable Supreme Court after which the Honorable Supreme Court decided the controversy once and for all.

“However, Khushbakht Mirza, in the year 2020, in connivance with Mr. Shehzad Akbar the then Advisor to PM on Accountability, and Umaid Butt and Ali Mardan Shah (officials of FIA) again started blackmailing the Applicant in order to extort more money from him. Khushabkht Mirza then with the help of the aforesaid persons managed to get false criminal cases registered against the Applicant and his other family members. The Applicant was blackmailed, threatened, and harassed.”

Read more: Farah Gogi serves defamation notice to Umar Farooq Zahoor for Rs 5B

Last week, Judge Ghulam Murtaza Virk of Judicial Magistrate Lahore cleared businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor in two cases of money laundering – registered against Mr Zahoor by his former wife Sophia Mirza and Shahzad Akbar.

Judge Ghulam Murtaza Virk of Judicial Magistrate Courts acquitted Umar Farooq Zahoor and canceled two First Information Reports (FIRs) after the FIA informed the court that its investigations had established that the accused was not involved in fraud, money laundering, and corruption.

Both cases were started in early October 2020 after Sophia Mirza approached the FIA Lahore’s Corporate Circle with Shahzad Akbar’s help, who got the cabinet to approve the investigations, over allegations of fraud and money-laundering of around Rs 16 billion by Umar Farooq Zahoor and his brother-in-law Saleem Ahmad.

When registering the cases, Sophia Mirza used her name as a complainant Khushbakht Mirza to conceal her identity and the fact that Zahoor was her former husband and both were involved in a court dispute over the custody of their two teen daughters. Umar Farooq has publicly alleged that Sophia and her accomplices tried to extort money from him and when he refused they started cases against him using their govt connections in the PTI govt.

Read more: Enough is enough: Imran Khan threatens to sue Umar Farooq Zahoor

The FIA told the court that during the course of the investigation, it was brought on the record that Umar Farooq Zahoor not only denied the allegations but also produced a letter from Norway Police confirming the said inquiry was closed due to lack of evidence and also produced another document of Oslo Police to the Public Prosecutor with the recommendation of dismissal of the case.

The judge ruled that on the basis of the FIA investigation reports, the FIRs stand dismissed.