ISLAMABAD - Top Pakistani politicians found linked with Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi billion dollars fraud in US.
Pakistani businessman Arif Naqvi who is the founder of the collapsed Abraaj Group, a private equity firm, was arrested in the UK for defrauding US investors link including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of mismanaging its $1 billion healthcare fund. Though Mr. Naqvi is out on $20 million bail (restricted to his home), reports are coming that he had close ties with some of the renowned Pakistani politicians including PM Imran Khan and Shareef brothers. According to local media reports link, Arif Naqvi was not only a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan but also a major source of PTI’s foreign funding during the election.
*Dawn* reports link that the US government’s filings before Naqvi’s bail revealed that he included a phone number for Imran Khan in the list given to police of “telephone numbers to contact if necessary”, at the time of his arrest at London’s Heathrow airport.
It is worth mentioning here that Abraaj Group’s impact investing line of business and technology startups included healthcare and clean energy. The firm’s major healthcare investments include Islamabad Diagnostic Centre link in Pakistan and Care Hospitals in India.
According to his lawyer Hugo Keith, Arif Naqvi has been friends with PM Khan for over 20 years. Meanwhile, prosecutors supported his extradition and vigorously argued to deny him bail, however, the judge maintained his stance that there is no reason to deny him bail. Arif Naqvi is currently facing extradition to the US.
It must be noted that a recent interview link of former President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari with renowned Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir was stopped from being aired shortly after it started on a private news channel, apparently due to establishment’s influence just over a week ago. It is likely that Mr. Zardari was going to reveal more on the Abraaj Group scandal. Meanwhile, PM Khan’s ex-wife Reham Kham has recently hopped into the streak and tweeted that* “Pakistan cannot look away from #PTIForeignFunding link forever especially money that was not meant for this purpose.”* [image: Embedded video] link
American investigators looking into #ArifNaqvi link #abraaj link scandal will be very interested to know what I was a witness to. Pakistan cannot look away from # #PTIForeignFunding link forever especially money that was not meant for this purpose. 3,643 link 11:00 PM - Jul 1, 2019 link
According to local media reports link, Arif Naqvi had borne 66% expense of Imran Khan’s election campaign in 2013. Arif Naqvi has also offered businessman Navaid Malik $20 million to secure Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif*‘s* assistance in selling Abraaj’s stake in K-Electric Ltd, a vertically-integrated power utility in Pakistan, as per a report of American news publication *The Wall Street Journal link* ,
As a private equity firm actually derives a company that purchases shares of private companies or acquires control of public companies with plans to take them private, Abraaj Group is also associated with selling shares of K-Electric. Whereas, PTI’s leader Farrukh Habib has said that *“any agreement with Abraaj capital to sell shares of K-Electric will be made public and parliament will be taken into confidence about it.”*
Meanwhile, various posts on social media also indicate that circle of investigations on Arif Naqvi’s case might be expanded to Pakistan and a joint investigative delegation of America and UK would visit Pakistan soon.