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19/05/24 | 11:38 am

New probe uncovers alleged illicit transactions by Imran Khan in Toshakhana case

A recent investigation by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has revealed additional corruption allegations against Imran Khan, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former Prime Minister.

The probe unveiled that Khan had unlawfully received and sold seven watches associated with the state gift repository during his tenure as the country’s leader.

The fresh case revolves around accusations of retaining and selling ten high-value gifts without proper declaration to the relevant authorities or depositing them into the Toshakhana, as required by law. According to regulations, any gifts received by the head of state, first lady, or president exceeding PKR 30,000 in value must be registered in the state gift repository, according to Geo News.

It was disclosed in the inquiry report that Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, also convicted in a previous Toshakhana case, received and retained a watch along with jewelry, comprising a ring and a necklace, which should have been submitted to the gift depository.

The report further elaborated that the state gifts were acquired or retained at significantly lower prices. An assessment conducted during the inquiry revealed discrepancies, with the valuation of luxury items being appraised by an inexperienced private appraiser. This appraiser lacked the necessary expertise and experience, resulting in undervalued assessments.

One of the contentious items was a Graff watch set, the sale of which was deemed a “deliberate and coordinated effort” to provide undue benefits to the purchaser. This watch was sold to Mohammad Shafiq for PKR 5,10,00,000 even before its retention, with the entire retention cost of PKR 2,00,00,000 also being paid by Shafiq to the Protocol section staff, while the remaining amount was handed over to the assistant protocol section.

Subsequent assessments by the Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Industries, and Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Traders and Exporters Association indicated that the valuation of the retained gifts was significantly higher than initially appraised by the private evaluator.

Following these findings, NAB was granted authorization to conduct further investigations against Khan and Bushra Bibi. Both individuals have received separate call-up notices, which they have contested in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Bushra Bibi’s appeal is scheduled for June 4, while Khan’s appeal is set to be heard on June 24.

It is worth noting that Khan and his spouse had previously been convicted for corrupt practices related to the state gift repository in the Toshakhana case. However, their sentences were subsequently suspended by the IHC, leaving their appeals against the conviction pending before the court.

(With inputs from ANI)

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