Govt to take legal action against 32 'benami' companies of Asif Zardari

12:10 AM | 17 Jul, 2019
Govt to take legal action against 32 'benami' companies of Asif Zardari
ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Tuesday said the government would take legal action against 32 “Benami” companies of Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Asif Zardari.

Addressing a press conference along with Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi here, the PM's special assistant said action would be taken against “Benami” properties as per law of the country and the money recovered from such “Benami” properties and companies would be deposited to the national exchequer.

Both made it clear that the government would continue taking action against money laundering, “Benami” properties, companies and trade-based Benami besides making recovery of the same.

They added that Prime Minister Imran Khan would now receive a briefing on this matter on a fortnightly and monthly basis.

Shahzad Akbar said as per law, all such “Benami” properties of Asif Zardari would be confiscated on failing to produce documents proofing legality of such properties within 60 days.

Sharing details, he said these “Benami” companies included sugar mills, trading companies, construction companies, cement factory, automobile manufacturing companies, holding companies, consultant firms, gas companies etc.

These 32 "Benami" companies included Al-Miftah (Pvt) Ltd, Sky Pak (Pvt.) Ltd, Seracom Stock and Capital (Pvt.) Ltd, Alfa Zulu Company (Pvt.) Ltd, Paramount Builders and Devs (Pvt.) Ltd, New Thatta Sugar Mills (Pvt.) Ltd, Pak Ethanol (Pvt.) Ltd, Bandhi Sugar Mills Ltd, Rubicon Builders and Devs (Pvt.) Ltd, Seracom Builders and Devs (Pvt.) Ltd, Parthenon (Pvt) Ltd, Pak Track (Pvt) Ltd, Vanguard Sugar Mills (Pvt) Ltd, Sindhri Sugar Mills (Pvt) Ltd, Princeton Builders and Devs (Pvt) Ltd, Diamond Builders and Devs (Pvt) Ltd, Sujawal Agro Farms (Pvt) Ltd, Benazirabad Facilities (Pvt) Ltd, Orient Automotive Industries (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi Gas Company (Pvt) Ltd, Bandhi Powergen Company (Pvt) Ltd, Triton LPG (Pvt) Ltd, Abaseen Environment Management Company (Pvt) Ltd, Quality Control (Pvt) Ltd, Wahaj Wind Energy (Pvt) Ltd, Malir Warehouse (Pvt) Ltd, Omni Welfare Foundation and Belpaktractors (Pvt) Ltd.

Moreover, he said several “Benami” plots in posh areas of Karachi had also been identified.

He said the JIT report had pointed out that Asif Zardari remained involved in toppling the state system by establishing even a bank without implementing legal formalities and paying capital.

He added that when in 2013-14, the State Bank of Pakistan had asked for paying of capital, they paid it in local account from fake companies adding that so far four references were filed against him out of the expected 30 references.

Akbar said the government had started taking action in line with the Benami Act 2017, as earlier it was inactive due to absence of rules which now had been formulated by the government.

He said the government would soon start confiscating the properties of sons and son-in-laws of Sharif family who had been declared proclaimed offenders by the court. Shahzad Akbar said for the first time a “Benami” bank was formed in the country for money laundering.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi said the country’s wealth was shifted to abroad through money laundering causing a huge loss to the national exchequer.

He said Asif Zardari had established sugar mills and other properties by threatening the people, adding Uzair Baloch had also accepted that Asif Zardari had made all the properties and assets by using his influence and threatening the people.

He further said an officer of Grade 16 or 17 at ERRA had occupied 16 properties illegally.

Zaidi said they would continue informing masses about the corruption in past and actions of the government to recover the country’s looted money.