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Interpol removes Umar Farooq Zahoor from wanted persons list after cleared in all cases

10:12 PM | 14 Oct, 2022
Interpol removes Umar Farooq Zahoor from wanted persons list after cleared in all cases

LONDON – The Interpol has removed businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor from the list of international wanted persons (Red Notice) in a high-profile case started by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) under former accountability advisor Shahzad Akbar.
 
The Interpol had added Dubai-based businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor in the Red Notice database after an application moved by Zahoor’s former wife and actor Sophia Mirza (alias Khushbakhat Mirza) with help from Shahzad Akbar who had tasked the FIA to go after the Dubai-based businessman at all costs.

The General Secretariat of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in Lyon has confirmed that Mr Umar Farooq Zahoor is no longer subject to an Interpol Notice or diffusion.

The Interpol has confirmed in a letter that “the Commission carried out the appropriate checks” in accordance with its functions and that the information concerning Mr Zahoor provided by Pakistan has been deleted from the INTERPOL Information System at the request of its National Central Bureau on 28 September 2022. 

Papers show that the Interpol Commission – made up of four members from US, UK, Lebanon and Morocco –has deleted the Red Notice category for Umar Farooq Zahoor after the FIA wrote to Interpol on 26 September confirming approval for the cancellation of Red Notice, in a case started by FIA Punjab Zone-1.

Umar Farooq Zahoor’s name was added in the Interpol’s most wanted list after the FIA wrote to the international police making several allegations against Liberia’s Ambassador-At-Large for South East Asia, Middle East and Pakistan.

The name of Mr Zahoor has been removed from the Red list after the fresh investigation, conducted by the officers of FIA who are appointed by the new Government, revealed that the allegations against Mr. Zahoor were frivolous and were politically motivated.

Investigations established later on that the FIA was asked by Shahzad Akbar to help Sophia Mirza, the former wife of Zahoor. The couple married in 2006, divorced within a year after the birth of twin daughters and ever since they have fought a custody battle while daughters Zainab and Zuneirah have publicly maintained they want to live with their father.

Umar Zahoor’s predicament started when the FIA Lahore Anti Human Trafficking Circle proceeded with registration of a criminal case against Zahoor on complaint of his ex-wife over allegations of kidnapping his own daughters. At the same time, the FIA Corporate Crime Circle Lahore also initiated an inquiry against Zahoor over allegations of fraud and money-laundering of around 16 billion Rupees on the complaint of the same complainant Khushbakht Mirza. The complainant accused Zahoor of being involved in a fraud of $89.2m in Oslo, Norway, in 2010 and another fraud involving an amount of $12m in Bern, Switzerland, back in the year 2004.

The complaint made its way to the PTI govt’s federal cabinet agenda via the Interior Ministry, being run then by Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) Chairman Mirza Shehzad Akbar, and the federal government gave a go-ahead to the FIA to probe the alleged fraud of over 16 billion Rupees by Umar Zahoor and his relative Saleem Ahmad.

In the pursuance of the false and frivolous criminal cases registered against Umar Farooq Zahoor: his name was placed on the Exit Control List (ECL); non-bailable warrants in one of the FIRs were obtained from the Court without fulfilling the legal requirements and on the basis of said non-bailable warrants, his passport and CNIC were blacklisted and Red Warrants were issued through INTERPOL by National Crime Bureau (NCB) Pakistan for arresting Mr Zahoor. The Constitution of INTERPOL does not permit issuance of red notices in the family and civil disputes, however; the FIA added heinous offences in the FIR registered against Mr. Zahoor in order to apprehend him through Interpol.

The Interpol confirmed that it had received requests from the government of Pakistan in the year 2020 to issue Yellow Notices against the minor daughters of actor Sophia Mirza and businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor.

The Interpol has further confirmed that international Yellow Notices for twins Zainab Umar and Zuneirah Umar were issued and their names were placed on the Interpol database for international tracing after two requests from the FIA were received on April 30, 2020 and then again in the month of July 2020 on the request of Sophia Mirza who wanted her daughters to be traced by the Interpol and taken back to Pakistan.

Names of Zuneirah Umar and Zainab Umar were later deleted in July 2021 after an investigation by Interpol revealed that the legal custody of both the daughters had already been granted to Umar Farooq Zahoor being their father and legal guardian by the Shariah Court of Dubai.

The two letters issued by the Office of Legal Affairs General Secretariat of Interpol confirm that Zuneirah and Zainab, both of whom are 15 years old, are no longer “subject to an INTERPOL Notice or diffusion”.

In a statement, Mr Zahoor welcomed the Interpol decision. He said: “I am glad the Interpol and the FIA have finally realised that the cases against me were cooked up by Sophia Mirza and Shahzad Akbar. They used money and resources of Pakistani taxpayers to target me in a family dispute case. For two years, they used the FIA and other institutions against me like a mafia. They used the media to run campaigns against me and did everything to destroy me but the Almighty Allah is there for all to protect.” 
 
Sophia Mirza didn’t comment.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - PKR to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 April 2024

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US Dollar and other currencies on April 21, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro stands at 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound hovers at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.20 and Saudi Riyal's new rate was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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