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SC directs FIA to submit report on 2,700 properties owned by Pakistanis in UAE

SC directs FIA to submit report on 2,700 properties owned by Pakistanis in UAE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to present a report within 15 days pertaining to the legality of 2,700 properties acquired by Pakistanis in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar was hearing the suo moto case on assets owned by Pakistani nationals in foreign countries.

Director General FIA Bashir Memon informed the court regarding properties in the UAE and asked for a month’s time to submit a full report. However, the court declined and ordered Memon to present a list of UAE property holders before the end of the day today.

The court instructed the attorney general to present a daily progress report and also sought details regarding measures taken to curb smuggling money through the hawala/hundi system.

Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan informed the court that 44 hawala/hundi businessmen have been arrested and raids are being conducted in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and various other cities.

While addressing State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa, Justice Nisar said, “We have high hopes from you but we are not receiving the desired results. You will have to present us with a solution.”

“The government is legislating and also amending old laws,” said the SBP governor. “Ill-gotten money stashed abroad can be brought back in this manner.”

The SBP governor also added that declarations signed with foreign governments will facilitate in bringing back stolen money from abroad.

“550 properties have been identified in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” Bajwa further informed the court.

The chief justice suggested that around 20 accused in the case can be summoned and investigations carried out under Article 184/3 if any individual is found guilty.

“Pakistanis have properties worth Rs1,000 billion in UAE,” he added. “A task force can be used to summon all these property holders if the government desires to do so,” said Justice Nisar.