PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari ignores NAB's second notice on offshore companies
LONDON: Zulfi Bukhari, a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and close friend of the party chief, has, as of Wednesday, has ignored two summons by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) but continues promoting his film Cake here in the city.
Both the correspondents have received copies, from sources in the NAB, of a second summon sent to Bukhari’s addresses in London and Islamabad. The summons asked the PTI leader to appear in NAB’s Rawalpindi office and bring records of six of his offshore companies revealed in the Panama Papers, first reported on by Geo News and The News reporter Umar Cheema last year.
A March 9 letter sent by the NAB asked Khan’s aide to appear before the institution on March 15 but he neither did so nor responded to the summons.
The anti-graft body had first sent a notice on February 27 to Bukhari's residential address in the F-10/1 Sector of Islamabad, advising him to appear before the NAB and answer questions pertaining to his offshore companies that were used to buy dozens of expensive commercial properties in a prestigious zone in London.
According to the NAB sources, the PTI member, who was in Pakistan when the summons was issued, did not appear before the NAB's Rawalpindi office and flew out to London instead.
He once again visited Pakistan in the first week of March for a private screening of Cake, especially scheduled for Imran Khan, but did not get in touch with the NAB.
The NAB source said the authorities were aware of Bukhari's current whereabouts — in Islamabad — and had decided to issue the second notice. He ignored the second notice just like he did the first one.
The latest NAB notice asked Zulfi Bukhari to appear at the NAB’s Civic Centre Islamabad G-6 before Ahmed Saeed, deputy director of the NAB, to record his statement. It asked him to bring the details of his companies and explain the source of income and links.
These offshore companies include K-Factor Limited, Bradbury Resources, Bayteck Limited, Bayla Trading Limited, Poreim Trading Limited, and Genstam Trading Limited.
The News had earlier reported that Bukhari owned Underbridge Properties Limited and Cumbria Grand Limited in BVI as well — which were also used to buy and sell properties, including a shopping mall and a 7-star hotel in central London — but these companies were not a part of the NAB's notice. These two companies have been used to buy and sell recently.
Interestingly, Khan has held numerous meetings at Bukhari’s London office — registered to one of his offshore companies — pertaining to offshore companies linked to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s children.
Bukhari had never declared any of his or his sisters’ companies until the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) uncovered proofs in the Panama Papers that the PTI leader, his father Wajid Bukhari, and sister Sakeena Bukhari also owned offshore companies. APP/AFP